Active Shooter Events - What To Do If It Happens to You
Would you know what to do in an active shooter situation? Multiple recent active shooter situations have forced us to ask the question. Let's take a look at how you can better prepare now so that you would know what to do if you ever find yourself facing an active shooter event.
It's more important than ever to be aware of your surroundings and to have a plan in mind before you leave home. A potential shooting situation is really something that people should be talking about and having internal planning for. We need to talk to our loved ones because it can happen anywhere, any time, and to anyone. It can happen in grocery stores, churches, schools, anywhere. While it's a sad state of our world, it is a brutal and true reality. If you haven't thought through what you would do, then you are assured to panic, freeze up, or just not know what to do in general.
What to do in an Active Shooter Situation
It is important to know how to save your life if a shooter enters the building you are in.
- If you can, RUN - This requires you to have situational awareness wherever you go. Know where the exits are at all times. Exits can be doors OR windows, whatever is the best route to get out.
- If you can't run, HIDE - Look for a space with no windows, a lockable door, and, if possible, in a space that can be barricaded. YOU MUST REMAIN QUIET (silence your phone) because you are HIDING from someone with a gun who is trying to kill you.
- When all else fails, FIGHT - It's a fight for your life, so use anything and everything you can. This isn't child's play, be prepared to inflict lethal damage to the shooter. Stay committed and take the perpetrator down by any means necessary.
The FBI recommends watching this video.
Here is another video.
The 911 Call
“911, what is the address of your emergency?” Those are the words you’re likely to hear when you dial 9-1-1. What should your response be?
First, take a deep breath and stay calm. 911 dispatchers are trained to calmly and effectively gather information and assess emergency situations so that they can communicate the emergency to the right medical, fire, or law enforcement professionals.
Next, tell the dispatcher where you are, what is happening, and give as much detail as possible about your location and the number you’re calling from. This is important because, according to the National Emergency Number Association (NENA), more than 80 percent of 911 calls are made from cell phones, and emergency calls are just as prone to drops, outages, caller-ID confusion, and other wireless phone issues. Calls to 911 from a cell phone also are not associated with a specific address like landlines, so they can be difficult to track.
By clearly stating your location (or a solid address if possible), type of emergency, and your phone number, the 911 operator can work to dispatch emergency responders to your location or call you back if the call drops.
NOTE: Even after help is on the way, the 911 dispatcher will continue to ask you questions. This helps them further assess the situation and pass details along.
Describe the situation as simply as possible. When you call 9-1-1:
- Stay calm, stay calm, stay calm! The operator may have a difficult time understanding you if you are screaming or panicking.
- Give your exact location, preferably the exact address, and your location in the building.
- Give clear answers. Remember to stay as calm as possible. In a crisis, this can be a challenge as fine motor skills are compromised under the stress of the event. Breathe and respond as clearly as possible.
- Follow directions and maintain your situational awareness.
- Remain on the phone with the 911 dispatcher until they’ve told you it’s safe to hang up.
But What If Calling 911 Isn't An Option?
Do you have your phone on you? Do you have cell reception in the building? Do you need to remain silent so as to not identify your location to the shooter?
These are all valid and real-world issues that people in emergencies face. How many of us work in buildings that never have good cell reception? How many students or school employees are even allowed to have their phones on them? Some businesses don't even allow employees to have their cell phones (as was the case with the FedEx shooting in Indianapolis). Life circumstances need to be considered as a part of your mental preparedness and situational awareness. Planning ahead to mitigate issues with first responder communication is a new tool for active shooter survival, and this is where ASR Alert Systems comes in.
ASR Alert Systems is patented state-of-the-art critical incident response technology specializing in the field of alert notifications to Law Enforcement and First Responders in the event of an active shooter or other crisis. Our technology can be customized to any industry, building, or event. We deliver customer-specific technology unmatched by anyone. With the PUSH of A BUTTON, the life-saving critical information of your situation is sent DIRECTLY to police dispatch.
NOTE: When you call 911, you are generally reaching a call center who then has to call the local law enforcement department, who then has to communicate the situation to first responders.
The ASR system reaches dispatch and 911 simultaneously and also has the ability to text local officers on the ground - all at the same time, delivering all the information to everyone within seconds. We hold the patent on this technology.
Our critical incident response technology uses hard-mounted buttons, mobile pendants, and an optional mobile phone application to DIRECTLY communicate with first responders in the area to significantly decrease response times to an active threat or crisis situation.
Having dedicated hardware that is readily accessible and easy to operate is KEY when it comes to life-saving tools. The methodology utilized to place the ASR Alert button stations is different for every client and/or organization. By having a dedicated button that is mounted in convenient locations (such as in classrooms or near office doors) or wearing a pendant, staff can activate an alert to staff and provide law enforcement with all of the necessary information to respond with the PRESS OF A BUTTON. By depressing the ASR Alert Button, Law Enforcement Dispatch know the location name, address, location within the facility, and type of emergency.
ASR offers the best commercial critical incident response technology solution in the industry. Our reliable and redundant methods of alerting persons who are in danger, as well as providing the fastest notification to law enforcement by communicating directly with police dispatch, are not matched, and we hold the patent on this direct communication technology.
Recent events have once again reminded us of how important it is to have an emergency response plan for the possibility of an active shooter incident occurring. Although these incidents are sometimes referred to as high-severity/low-frequency events — meaning they cause extensive damage but don’t occur relatively often — there is no room for hesitation when it comes to training and being prepared for something like an active shooter situation. These events are intense, and the stress they cause can make it almost impossible for some people to react quickly when their minds have frozen them into place while they try to figure out the best course of action. It is no longer acceptable to assume it can never happen in a particular community or building. Let ASR show you how to prepare for the best possible outcome should an active shooter situation happen to you. SCHEDULE A VIRTUAL DEMONSTRATION FOR YOUR ORGANIZATION TODAY. We are confident you will see the benefits for your organization.
If you are a concerned citizen and wish for your workplace or school to look into an Active Threat System, please encourage them to reach out to us as well.