In many instances, the safety topics that are the least enjoyable to cover are the ones that are most important. No one wants to think they will find themselves in a situation where their life is at risk, but going through training reduces the amount of decision-making time needed in an emergency.
Now, more than ever, we are seeing regular reminders of the importance of active shooter training — for ourselves, our colleagues and our loved ones — and why it is smart to be prepared for a worst-case scenario.
For more than a decade, Run, Hide, Fight has been the preferred strategy for active shooter situations, endorsed by the Department of Homeland Security, the FBI, FEMA, and schools and universities across the country.
On its face, the strategy is as simple as it sounds: first, if at all possible, run away from the shooter. If you cannot run, find a safe place to hide and barricade yourself (and others) inside. If you can neither run nor hide, be prepared to fight.
Situational awareness is extremely important in any active shooter situation, as every incident is different and unpredictable. Keep these options in mind and adjust your actions and decisions as needed.
- Leave your belongings behind
- Move to an exit quickly and quietly
- Duck below windows or other openings
- Check around corners and stairs
- Consider escaping through windows if they are a safe distance above the ground
You may be in a location where running does not seem safe and may only put you further in harm’s way. In that case, try and find a safe place to hide.
- Barricade the door with heavy objects, such as a desk or other furniture
- Cover windows with blinds, curtains or other coverings
- Put phones on silent and turn off sources of light or noise
- Call 911 if you can do so quietly
- Continue looking for opportunities to run
If you are unable to safely run or hide, you may have to fight as a last resort. You would be fighting for your life in this situation, so take any measures available at your disposal.
- Throw anything you can, including coffee mugs, chairs, pencils or other sharp objects
- Target the head, eyes, throat, fingers, groin and other sensitive areas
- Never stop moving and make as much noise as possible
- Work together to swarm the shooter if you are with other people
- Try to get the shooter to the ground and restrain them
Any of these steps could keep you safe until the situation is clear. No matter which safety measure you take, always remember to keep your hands empty and visible once officers arrive on the scene and let first responders know of any injured people.
Learn more about the Run, Hide, Fight strategy with this quick 15-minute training video, available in English, Spanish and Polish. Completing this interactive training will help you understand the options that could help you and others around you survive.
SafetySkills is a leading e-learning provider offering an extensive library of OSHA, EHS and HR compliant courses. Their outcome-based training and EHS management platform allows users to assign interactive compliance training, customize reporting, print completion certificates, complete and send various reports, conduct both preventive and investigative reviews, and much more.
With in-house subject matter experts, instructional systems designers and content developers, the award-winning SafetySkills team has deployed more than 1,000 online training safety titles in multiple languages around the world.