What to Do in an Active Shooter Situation

What to Do in an Active Shooter Situation

With more active shooter incidents happening, here are tips on how to respond if a shooting breaks out:

  • Remain calm. Your head might be telling you to fight or escape. Maintain calm to help determine what is possible.
  • Recognize your options. Your chance of survival is higher.
  • Be aware of your environment at all times. Observe if there are people nearby, what they’re doing, if they’re displaying odd behaviors.
  • Always know where exits are in any room you’re in.

If you’re in a threatening situation, especially if a shooting occurs, you’ll want to take one of three actions:

  • run
  • hide
  • fight

But, not always in that order.

If you see the exit, run. If you can see the gunman, he can see you. Drop any belongings, get low, and move quickly to a safe place, even if you become injured. Once you are out the exit, call 911.

If there’s a quiet, dark room where you can hide—preferably one with a door that locks—do so. Bring other people with you if possible, but keep them quiet: no screaming. If the door doesn’t lock, block it with furniture. If you are in a hotel room, stay there and make sure the door is secure. Stay put until the authorities find you.

If you cannot safely flee or hide, and the shooter gets close, you fighting is an option that works or it doesn’t… Recruit others to help you, if possible. Using improvised weapons—a chair, lamp, fire extinguisher—try to incapacitate the shooter.

If the gunman’s weapon freezes, lunge at him or sprint away. Even the weight of a 120-pound person coming at a full grown man can be incapacitating.

Don’t think that preparing for a shooting that will probably never happen is a form of paranoia. It’s simply being proactive.


Robert Siciliano, CSP

Robert Siciliano, CSP

Robert Sicilano, CSP, the #1 Best Selling author and CEO of www.Safr.Me, is fun —but is serious about teaching you and your audience fraud prevention and personal security.
Robert Siciliano, CSP
Robert Siciliano, CSP
Robert Siciliano, CSP

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