Your first thought about a school or workplace shooting may be, "That would never happenhere," the reality of the matter is that a shooting can happen anywhere at any time. Andif you are unfortunate enough to find yourself in the same place as a shooter, whetheryou're at school or in a workplace, it's best to be prepared. If you can run awayreasonably safely, that should always be your first move. If not, you need to hide and barricadeyourself. And if you come face to face with a shooter, then you will need to fight for yourlife. Follow these steps if you want to know how to survive a school or workplaceshooting.
If you are able to run away from the shooter in a reasonable amount of time, then it'stime to start running as fast as you can. You may freeze and be too scared to do anything, remindyourself that runners have the highest survival rate in a shooting. If you can't run awaybecause the shooter is too close or because you're responsible for a group of smallchildren, for example, then you should decide whether you have enough time to barricadeyourself in a room before you hide.
It should be time to plan your escapepath if you hear shots in the distance but feel that you can run or escape reasonablysafely. You may freeze when you hear thesound of bullets, you need to be able to react immediately and see if running is your bestoption. Runners have a higher success rate in shootings than people who hide, so if youfeel that the shooter is far enough away for you to make a run for it, then now is yourchance
Run in a zig-zag pattern or crouch down as you run. Your first instinct will be to runstraight ahead, since you'll be running for your life, you should run in a zig-zag patternto minimize your chances of being shot. If the shooter approaches at a distance and aimshis gun at you, you'll be harder to shoot if you're not running in a straight path thatgives him enough time to aim his gun. If you are sideways instead of with your back facinghim, you are also harder to hit. You can also crouch down as you run so it's moredifficult to shoot you
If you've determined that it's best to run, then forget your wallet, your purse, or yourcell phone. Your first instinct may be to take your possessionswith you, none of them are as important as your life.
As you're running, encourageothers to run. If you're running in a bigger group, it'll be harder to target youindividually, and you'll have strength in numbers if you do run up against the shooter.
If you have the time, grab a fire extinguisher and create a path of smoke behind you sothe shooter will have a harder time pursuing you. Keep the extinguisher and other sharp objects that can be used as weapons if youface the shooter. But don't waste time looking for waysor weapons to cover your tracks if it'll keep you from escaping.
If theshooter is rapidly approaching the room you're in, then you should prepare to hide as soonas possible. This will disorient the shooter and make it look less likely that there arepeople in the room where you are.
Lock the door, place a doorstop on it, and place all heavy furniture likedesks and chairs in front of the door immediately to deter the shooter. If the shooter isapproaching, get away from the door as soon as you can to keep yourself from being shotthrough the door.
If there's a landline in the room, pick it up and call 9-1-1 immediately. Using a landline instead of yourcell phone is the best move because the police will automatically be able to trace the call,which they would not be able to do if you called from your cell phone.
Look around the room where you're hiding and find anything that you can use as a weapon. Itcan be a stapler or sharp scissors you find in the teacher's desk, the hot coffee in thekitchen of your office, beakers or dangerous acids (such as sulphuric) in a science room, oranything that is sharp, heavy, made of glass, or which can be used as a weapon. Hold on tothese weapons in the event that the shooter enters the room where you are.
Once you've grabbed your weapons, it's time to hide under desks, chairs, in closets, or inany hiding places that are convenient. No matter where you hide, you should stay low to theground to make yourself less of a target. Turn off your cell phone so thesound won't encourage the shooter to approach you if you have time.
This may seem nearly impossible, it's crucial that you stay absolutely silent. Tell peoplethat whimpering or crying will only make the shooter more likely to find you. Be mentallyprepared for the event that the shooter comes into the room and finds you. In that case,you'll have no choice but to fight.
This only works if shots have been fired and you're already in a room or place when peoplehave been shot and have no place to hide. Then, if the shooter approaches your location, you can take a risk and play dead, hopingthat he'll think that you're among the dead and will pass you by. However, this is a risky move because he maynot believe you're dead, and you may be too nervous to stay completely still.
Once you've hid and barricaded yourself, all you can do is wait for the police to arriveand save you, or wait for the shooter to approach, in which case you'll have to hide. Whenthe police arrive do not run to them or request help, as this may cause them to think youare a threat. Do exactly what the officers tell you to do, do it quickly, and do it withoutargument or protest. Be as helpful as possible to the authorities. Tell them everything youknow.
You shouldn't jump out of your hiding place and attack the shooter if he's approaching. If you'resure that you'll be shot if you do nothing, you should only fight him.
Trying to engage with the shooter, ask him what he's doing, or to plead for your life bytalking about your family has not been proven effective in dealing with shooters. Theshooter will be on a rampage and will be beyond hearing the voice of reason, so don't wasteyour time by trying to talk to him-- you're much better off fighting.
If there are multiple people in the room and he can see all of them, then you should all tryto attack him at once, hurting him, throwing objects, and doing everything you can to renderhim powerless. You may not want to fight the shooter if you see that someone else is doingit, but strength in numbers will make it more likely that you'll survive.
Use your sharp scissors, glass, or any other sharp or heavy objectsto attack the shooter immediately. Even a sharp ballpoint pen or pencil could be the perfectweapon for gouging out the shooter's eyes.
Try to hurt the shooter in the face, eyes, shoulders, or neck, or arms, so that he's morelikely to let go of his weapon. You should stab him in the neck, gouge out his eyes, or stabhim in the arm-- doing anything you can to make him get rid of that weapon or to hurt him sothe weapon is within your reach.
Kick him in the crotch. Kick him in the crotch if you can't go for his face or weapon. This will be an effectiveway to disarm him and to cause him a large amount of pain.
Focus on fighting for your life, knowing that most people who are shot by a gun actuallysurvive. Stay strong and fight for your life with everything you've got instead of worryingabout the worst-case scenario. This may sound nearly impossible, but this is the best thingyou can do if you want to survive the shooting.
If astudent or co-worker talks about killing people or threatens to bring agun or a knife to school, report this to a teacher or law enforcement. Many shooters oftenannounce their plans ahead of schedule as a way of showing off; do not take their behaviorlightly or as a joke and report it immediately.
Every school and office has some kind of lockdown procedure that stipulates how doors shouldbe locked, where people should hide, and how the authorities should be called, so if you 'dlike to be prepared for a shooting, be familiar with your workplace's standard procedurewhen it comes to shootings. It may be difficult to follow protocol exactly in the event of a shooting,but knowing what it is can help you react in the most helpful way possible.
Be prepared for a shooting. Though you should not bring a weapon to school or to theworkplace just in case there is a shooting, if you 'd really like to be prepared, you shouldtake self-defense classes or other classes that teach you how to fight off an attacker inthe event of an attack or shooting. Knowing a few fighting tricks can help you feel moreconfident in the event that you have no choice but to attack a shooter.
Wait for the police or emergency crew to assess thesituation. Do not reveal your position or run to the officers. When you're leaving thebuilding a police officer or a soldier will escort you to the exit.
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