Wednesday, December 9, 2015

How to be prepared for an active shooter situation

The recent news regarding San Bernardino and Paris have compelled me to write this article. Hi Tech Refuge sends our prayers to everyone involved in these recent tragedies.  The question is what can you do in the event of an active shooter situation?  In my opinion the chances of you encountering an active shooter situation are very slim. However, you want to be prepared in the event you are caught in this type of situation.

In this busy holiday season we will be visiting shopping malls, going to restaurants and traveling to distant locations. You want to have a plan in place in the event of an active shooter situation.
When you visit a public location make a mental note of at least one or two exits in the facility. If you choose two different exit routes should one exit route be compromised you have another option. When you are exiting the location drop everything and run (yes run) to the nearest exit.
In some cases you may have to hide until the area is clear. I would try to find a hiding place with an exit so you can still run once the threat has left the area. If you have to hide in a room turn off the lights and barricade the door if possible.  When you have the opportunity to leave the area and get to safety make sure you keep your hands up. You want law enforcement to know you are a victim and not the shooter. Keep your hands up and follow the instruction of the law enforcement.

Should you have to hide make sure your cell phone on silent you may be unable to contact 911 to tell responders where you are so you may have to be quiet until the threat has passed. There is an application called Life 360 this application was originally developed to track children for their parents but in this case I think it is a great tool to be used in the case of an active shooter. The application is always turned on without using battery life. The application is free there is a paid version with more features in the application. You sign up create an account and place people in your circle such as like family members.  The application provides locations on all the individuals who are in your circle and constant updates on your location.

The map provided with Life 360 displays locations of the nearest hospital, fire department and police station. The best feature is you have a panic button so if you are in a situation where you unable to speak you activate the panic button. The people in your circle are notified that you are in an emergency situation along with your location. This is an invaluable tool for law enforcement responding to an active shooter situation. You have the ability to turn on and off the applications as needed.

I hope this article was helpful please leave comments below.

Mark Carvajal

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