An active shooter is defined as an individual engaged in killing or attempting to kill people in a confined and populated area, typically through the use of firearms. Even though it is statically unlikely you will ever be involved in an active shooter situation, it is super important to know what to do if you are in the situation.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s RUN, HIDE, FIGHT action plan should be implemented in the following recommended sequence:
- If there is an accessible path, attempt to evacuate
- Identify an escape route and plan
- Run in zig-zag pattern
- Evacuate regardless of whether others agree to follow
- Leave belongings behind
- Help others escape, if possible
- Prevent individuals from entering the facility or the area
- Keep hands visible
- Follow the instructions of police officers
- Do not attempt to move the wounded
- Be out of the active shooter’s view
- Seek protection if shots are fired in your direction
- Pick a spot that will not trap you or restrict your movements
- Lock the door
- Blockade the door with heavy items
- Silence your cell phone and/or pager
- Turn off any source of noise, including radios and televisions
- Hide behind large items, such as cabinets and desks
- Stay low
- Take action
- Disrupt and/or incapacitate
- Act aggressively
- Throw items
- Use improvised weapons, such as weights, bats, chairs, etc.
- Yell, scream, poke, scratch, bite, etc.
- Commit to your actions — it’s your life, or theirs
- Spread out and attack from different angles
Having a plan and being prepared to use it greatly improves your chances of surviving an active shooter situation. RUN. HIDE. FIGHT.