How To Survive a Mass Shooting
In the wake of a series of mass shootings in Dallas, Sandy Hook, San Bernadino and Orlando, Florida, Americans are beginning to face the very real possibility of being involved in a shooting themselves.
Avoid High Risk Areas
The best way to avoid mass shootings is to avoid areas where they are likely to occur.
Be Aware of Your Surroundings
Let’s face it, for most people, it isn’t feasible to avoid completely avoid public places. So, it is best to be prepared for the unexpected, understand your surroundings and be aware of what is happening.
Before you enter any building, observe the exterior of the building, the parking lot and any buildings or structures nearby. On the interior of the building, immediately make note of any exits, windows, etc.
Get Out of the Area
In the event of a mass shooting, everyone’s initial reaction is to run. When shots ring out, crowds tend to scatter, running for safety anywhere they can find it. This is the best action you can take. Your likelihood of survival increases as your distance away from the shooter increases. However, injuries and deaths have occurred as a result of people being trampled by scrambling crowds. If you’re in a situation with an active shooter, run, but do so with as much awareness as possible. You don’t want to end up being trampled or hurt others as you’re getting away.
If you’re able to get out of the building, or general area if the situation occurs outside, keep moving until you’re several blocks away. You may be tempted to stop once you get outside, or feel that you are safe across the street. The shooter could come outside, or you could even be caught in the midst of gunfire from law enforcement.
If You Can’t Get Out of the Area
Find cover. Anything that will put a solid surface between you and the maniac could safe your life. If you can get to another room, behind a bar, behind display racks, anything that could be used to shield you from the view and the bullets of the assailant.
If you’re in a room, look for a window or ceiling vents/tiles that you can crawl through to escape.
If you can get to a safe place, stay there and watch what is happening. If the killer is moving around, you may have to move around to. Keep watching what is going on an look for an opportunity to get out.
In the case of the massacre in Orlando, people inside the Pulse night club actually used the deceased for cover. They laid down next to them and pretended to be dead. Some individuals did this for almost three hours, but in the end, it saved their life. If you have no other options, this may be your best course of action.
Only as a Last Resort
The suspect should only be engaged as a last resort.
If you have no other choice, it may be helpful to talk to the suspect. Sometimes talking brings them back to reality and re-humanizes the situation.
If talking doesn’t work, your last option is to fight for your life. If there are other people in the situation, it may be possible to over-power the suspect.