It’s a nightmare scenario, but the possibility of getting caught in an active shooter situation in the US is a very real thing.
According to Everytown for Gun Safety, 91 people are killed by gun violence every day in the US, which sees 12,000 gun murders per year.
If you find yourself in a situation where someone is shooting a gun, it’s important to think fast and take action to keep yourself from becoming a victim.
In a three-part video series for The Post, Global Security Group CEO David Katz explains how to give yourself the best chance of surviving an active shooter situation.
In a three-part video series for The Post
, Global Security Group CEO David Katz explains how to give yourself the best chance of surviving an active shooter situation.
1. Figure out what you’re hearing.
It’s easy to confuse other loud sounds, like a heavy object being dropped or the action of a construction site, with gunshots, Katz says. To help differentiate, listen to the cadence of the sound. While gunshots have a more random cadence, “a rhythmic pace indicates either construction or even a nail gun.”
2. Act fast.
Your body can react to the shock and immediate danger of gunshots by shutting down. This can mean your vision narrows, or your brain can even block out the sounds of gunfire to convince yourself that everything is OK. Ignore these reactions and focus on self-preservation. “You gotta snap yourself out of it,” Katz says. Most shootings, 69 percent of them, last for less than five minutes, so time is of the essence.
3. Locate the shooter and escape if possible.
The best place to be is as far from the shooter as possible. If you can, get out of the building. If you’re near a stairwell, the acoustics can help you figure out if the shooter is on floors above or below you. If the sound is coming from above, run down the stairs and out of the building.
4. If you can’t get out, barricade yourself.
If you can’t escape the building without putting yourself in danger, Katz says, the best option is to lock yourself in a room and block the door with anything you can. Be smart once you’re inside: “If you go into a room, you’re still vulnerable.” Lie on your belly on the floor behind the hinge side of the door on the closest wall to where the shooter would come from, getting as far from the likely path of a bullet as possible.
5. If all else fails, fight for your life.
If you can’t avoid the shooter, attack and fight for your life. Katz suggests aggressively taking the shooter down as a group, and considering any nearby objects with weight as weapons.
When the police arrive, make sure your hands are empty and visible so they know you’re not part of the threat.