Run, Hide, Fight
In an unexpected attack, like a public shooting, one natural human instinct is to crouch and stay still. But freezing is the last thing you should do. A better course is action is one that’s taught in law enforcement circles – the principle of run, hide, fight. This simple set of instructions teaches us first to run from the attacker. We are also encouraged to bring people with us, those who may be frozen with fear or uncertain what to do. If there’s no clear exit to run from the situation, the next action is to hide. Hiding should take place in a spot that offers protection, ideally a place where you cannot be shot. If both of those options aren’t available, then fighting is your last resort to survive.
Take Evasive Maneuvers As you run or move in an active shooter situation, you’ll want to make yourself a hard target to hit. If you’ve ever spent time shooting, you know it can be hard enough to hit a stationary target when you’re not sure of the range (distance to the target). Add in erratic movement and obstacles, now the target is much harder to hit.
- Keep moving – a moving target is much harder to shoot. Move in an unpredictable zigzag pattern to prevent the shooter from aiming at a spot where you’re “going to be”. Move toward cover or an exit.
- Stay small – crouch low as you move. If you have to climb over an obstacle, keep a low profile.
- Get to cover – take shelter behind solid objects that would provide a shield between you and the shooter. Silence your cell phone if you’re hiding, one ring can give you away.
- Get out – any exit is better than no exit, unless the shooter is killing people crowded at that exit. Find a way out, perhaps an unexpected or unorthodox egress, to minimize your chance of getting caught.
And if that’s not enough, you can:
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