It is important to prepare for active shooter events to increase your chance of survival.
One step you can take is to enroll in active shooter training, either in your community (when available) or online.
Make a plan with your family, so everyone knows what to do in the event of an active shooter situation.
When you are out in public, be observant and cognizant of your surroundings. Look for the nearest exits wherever you go. If you see something suspicious, report it to authorities right away.
If a mass shooting unfolds in your vicinity, remember to RUN, HIDE, FIGHT:
- RUN far away if you can. Leave your belongings if necessary. Help others escape if you can without endangering yourself. Call 911 when you are at a safe distance.
- HIDE if you are unable to run. Find a room and lock the door behind you. Stay out of sight of windows. If you are hiding in a room, don’t hide directly in front of the door; hide along the same wall as the door. Barricade the door with heavy objects. Be sure to silence your electronic devices, and try to contact police silently if possible. Stay in your hiding place until police have located you and given you clearance to leave.
- FIGHT ONLY AS A LAST RESORT. If you are hiding behind the door, and a shooter enters, strike the shooter from behind. Be prepared to use whatever objects you have at your disposal, and strike with intent to severely harm the shooter. If there are other people in your area, seek their help, as there is strength in numbers. Make sure you are targeting the shooter and not a law enforcement officer.
Once it is safe to emerge from your hiding place, be sure to keep your hands visible and empty. Law enforcement officers responding to an active shooter situation may not have a description of the shooter(s). So, it is important to distinguish yourself from the shooter(s). Follow any instructions that law enforcement or first responders provide.
If you have special training such as CPR, first aid, or Community Emergency Response Team (CERT), and it is safe for you to assist, inform first responders of your training and provide aid to victims.
Finally, mass shootings are traumatic experiences for all involved. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a common occurrence. Seek professional help for any long-term effects, either through your own health care provider or via the Vegas Strong Resiliency Center.
Additional resources can be found on the FEMA website.