11 Things You should do in an Active Shooting Scene

Can you come up with any situation more dangerous than a “Mass Shooting?” it has become a scary reality of living in this vulnerable world, esp. in the USA. Mass shootings have increased in the recent past and unless strong, strict steps are not taken, you should fear they are here to stay.

Even if the chances could be less, you may find yourself among the bullets coming from a raging person. You will be left to fend for yourself because, by the time Law enforcement agencies arrive, the shooting carnage is usually over.

You should be extremely careful in such situations as even one small mistake, one small error in judgment, one bullet can put a full stop to your life. Some of the following protection measures will help you prepare for if you witness or be in a mass shooting:

  • Be mindful: Always be aware of your surroundings, wherever you go. If you enter any building, scan and mentally note down all the passageways, rooms, entries, exits, etc. All this will help you in any emergency. This might be mundane, but “Situational awareness” is an important quality to have.

  • Know what to look for: While being mindful, look for anything that might seem odd to you. Any person behaving or dressed differently than the usual occasion at the place. Anything, like a bag or other package lying unattended, or anyone leaving behind, etc.

  • Instantly report what you find suspicious: If you find anything wrong or fishy at the place where you are, just don’t be afraid to share it with others. You may alert any high authority or security there itself or may call any law enforcement agency. Your one courageous and preventive step may save the lives of hundreds of people.

  • Make a quick, short “what if” plan: You should always have a contingency plan for every possible situation with you at the place. Ask yourself what all can go wrong at a particular place and time, then prepare short quick solutions for every “what if” you think about.

  • Control your curiosity: If a mass shooting happens in your surroundings and you are not actively caught in it, then it is best to stay away and aware of the situation. Don’t curiously run towards the sounds of the gunshots and risk your life. Alert your surrounding people and call 911 immediately.

  • If you can, run: When the shooting begins and you get trapped in it, try to get as far away from the shooter as you can. Don’t stay in the line of fire. If you want to alert anyone, e.g. 911; run first, get to safety, then make the call. Run outside if the shooting is happening in a building. Even then, don’t consider yourself safe until the law enforcement agencies arrive.

  • If you have to, hide: If you are unable to run outside, away from the shooter, then the best bet is to take some shelter and shield yourself from the line of fire of the shooter. Hide behind the hardest possible object, remain still and quiet. It’s important to not give away your location to the shooter, so don’t use the mobile unless you are very safe and calling 911 or anyone else to alert.

  • Stay hidden for a long time: Stay alert about your location. If the shield is giving in, move to the next best hiding spot. Stay hidden until the shooting stops and security forces take over. Don’t call out to them or run towards them, let them secure the scene, nullify the threat and any other, if. They will come over to you.

  • Be as much calm as you can: During all the time when shooting is going on, focus on the situation, be in the present. Breathe in from your nose and out from your mouth as you take stock of the situation around you. No one is able to make sound decisions when in a state of panic and fear, and that can be the difference between life and death. By being calm, you may not just save your own life, but that of others too.

  • Stay near the ground: If you can’t run or hide, you most probably will come in the shooter’s line of fire. The best thing to do in this situation is to duck down and stay to the ground as much as you can. Reduce your visual size by coiling yourself as it minimizes the target area of the shooter.

  • Fight back if you have to: Use this only as a last resort. After all, methods to get away from the shooter have failed and that person is near you, just fight back. In mass shootings, attackers don’t expect any retaliation from the victims, so if you have to, be more violent, try to scare them and the most important thing is to go for their weapon. Try to snatch it from them or at least point it towards the sky.

Be your best and heroic version when in a mass shooting situation. Later you should not regret any mistakes or missed opportunities. Such a horrific incident can occur with anyone at any time, there are almost no warning signs of it. So always be aware of your surroundings and prepared for any situation, after all, your life is on the line.


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