With violence at schools and workplaces becoming ever more common, the topic has come up on whether an average person like you or me could survive in the face of an angry co-worker or student. No one wants to face down the wrong end of the gun, but if you are ever forced into such a situation, here are a few tips to improve your chances of survival.
Don’t freeze up
When you first hear shots, it can send paralyzing fear coursing through your body. This paralysis can be hard to break, but in order to survive, you need to pay attention to the direction of the shots and determine if the gunshots you hear are really gunshots. Even though that loud bang may sound scary, it could just be your friendly local electrician putting in new wirings or some other construction.
You’ll be able to tell by the sound. Construction has a tempo to it, a steady and purposeful bang. Gunshots are sporadic. You might hear a bang, and then a pause, then 3 rapid bangs, and then a pause and another bang. This isn’t something a nail gun or a hammer is likely to produce.
Once you have determined that they are gunshots, remind yourself that you need to move in order to survive.
Run if possible but be smart about it
If you can get out of the building without crossing paths with the shooter, do so. Escaping is by far the smartest option. You’ll want to have your hands empty of all items (including pencils or other harmless objects) as you run so that any police attempting to help you don’t mistake you for the shooter. If the police give you instructions, follow them immediately.
Police and firefighters recommend knowing at least two exits out of every room in a building for emergencies anyway, so you may want to look for these now when things are still safe and calm. That way if you do have to run, you have options.
Can’t run? Barricade yourself
Lock the doors if possible. If they don’t lock, you can come up with other methods of locking it such as using a door wedge to keep it from opening or using a chair under the door. Don’t leave it at that, however. Get as many heavy, thick items as you can in front of the door. This will both make it harder to break down, and also help protect against gunshots. Don’t trust that desk to stop a bullet, however. Get low and hide. Avoid climbing under desks that are easy to see under and push them over if you have to (all of them not just one suspicious one right in the center.)
Today’s world has become a more violent place. We aren’t as safe as we once were going to work or school. It’s scary to think that knowing how to escape your building or what to do in the face of an armed gunman is important, but this is the world we live in.
Stay safe and stay sharp to protect yourself if someone with a gun and an intent to kill comes to your location.
Readers Bureau, Contributor
Edited by Jesus Chan
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