How to Prepare for an Active Shooter Event

How to Prepare for an Active Shooter Event

In today's world, it's an unfortunate reality that active shooter events have become more frequent. While the likelihood of being involved in such an event remains statistically low, it’s essential to be properly prepared should you find yourself amid a shootout. Understanding how to respond during an active shooter situation may determine whether you make it out alive, so taking such preparation seriously is crucial.

So, what exactly is an active shooter? An active shooter is someone actively engaged in killing or attempting to kill people in a confined and populated area. Their targets are often chosen randomly, with the easiest targets engaged first. Sometimes, an active shooter seeks out people of a certain belief system, race, or even those they have worked with. These situations evolve quickly and can change in an instant.

Training is not useful if you wait to start it after an active shooter event has already taken place. Prepare in advance so that, should the need arise, you’ll be able to approach it with a level head and make smart decisions that may save your life and the lives of those around you. Many training programs are available that educate ordinary citizens on important aspects of handling an active shooter event and provide simulated scenarios to test what they've learned. Even without attending a formal training course, some steps can be taken and practiced regularly to prepare for these scenarios.

One of the first things you should do is familiarize yourself with your environment. Since there's no way to predict when and where a shooting may occur, become intimately familiar with every place you frequent. Whether it's your workplace, local grocery store, church, school, or even your own home, focus on the layout of each place. Visualize the hallways, locations of bedrooms and bathrooms, offices, windows on various floors, stairways, elevators, and any entry/exit points or defensible locations. Identify the entryways into your building. Does it have a loading dock or an outside basement entrance? Is there rooftop access? What buildings or structures are around the perimeter? Ask yourself these questions to gain familiarity with your surroundings. A good way to practice this is during your normal daily routine. When sitting down for lunch or shopping in a department store, ask yourself, "What are all the different ways I can get out of this building quickly and safely if an active shooter situation breaks out?” If getting out of the building safely is not an option, identify places to hide until the danger has passed. Many locations have emergency plans already in place, so be sure to speak with your employer, school administrator, or other authority figures to educate yourself on their specific emergency plans.

Unfortunately, there are bad people in this world, and while the chances are rare, let's pretend you've found yourself in the middle of a shootout. The Department of Homeland Security recommends the “Run, Hide, Fight” strategy when responding to an active shooter situation. The first option is to run and escape if possible. Your prior preparation should help you determine a safe escape route. If a safe escape is possible, plan to do so without any personal belongings. You may choose to help others escape but shouldn’t let their indecision put you back in harm’s way. Once you've reached safety, call 911 and provide as much detail as possible about the situation, including the location, number of people inside, number of shots heard, and any other useful information, including a description of the shooter if you saw them.

If you can't run, hiding is the next best option. Choose a spot where the shooter is less likely to find you. Lock yourself in a room, turn off all the lights, and barricade the door with heavy furniture. Silence your cell phone and any other devices to prevent drawing attention to your position. Stay quiet and wait for help to arrive. If running and hiding aren’t options, you must fight for your life. This option should only be used as a last resort when your life is in imminent danger. Be aggressive in your attack, using any improvised weapons nearby with the goal to incapacitate the shooter. Do not waver—commit to your actions with force and courage.

The time immediately following an active shooter incident is filled with emotion, interactions with law enforcement, and more. Despite everything you’ve just experienced, it’s essential to stay calm and follow the instructions of law enforcement and other emergency personnel. Always keep your hands visible and avoid making sudden movements, as this is still an active crime scene and law enforcement may be looking for additional shooters. Share any information and details you may have about what occurred, regardless of how insignificant it may seem. Lastly, take care of yourself. Being involved in a situation like this can be very traumatic, especially if you witnessed others die. Speak to a therapist about what occurred and prioritize your mental health in the days, months, and years following the event.

Certain individuals employed by various outlets, such as churches, schools, shopping centers, or other locations frequented by crowds, train to provide protection and run towards the gunfire to eliminate the threat. If you find yourself taking on such a responsibility, you may want to outfit your defensive gun with a reliable optic to give you a tactical advantage. The Sightmark Mini Shot M3 Solar is made for pistols with an RMSC footprint but can be mounted to Picatinny rails with a separate mount. This solar-powered optic, combined with CR1620 batteries, provides an impressive run time of over 20,000 hours, so you don’t have to worry about swapping batteries during a crisis. The 3 MOA dot in this optic is ideal for short and medium-range scenarios, allowing you to get on target quickly, and it has a brightness level that adjusts automatically. The less you have to fuss with, the more effective you'll be when the adrenaline is pumping. This sight can also withstand drops from 3 feet, so don’t worry about bumping it against doorways or furniture as you navigate a building.

While no one wants to imagine being in an active shooter situation, preparedness is key to increasing your chances of survival. By understanding the threat, familiarizing yourself with your surroundings, and knowing how to respond, you can take proactive steps to protect yourself and others. Stay vigilant, stay informed, and take action to ensure you are prepared for the unthinkable.

An Oklahoma Deer Hunt
POSTED BY Travis Burton ·
Read more
Turkey Hunting with the M3 Solar
POSTED BY Travis Burton ·
Read more

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.