The articles we choose to include in these newsletters are somewhat planned. When we chose Run-Hide-Fight for this month’s newsletter we did not know it would be so timely.
We have had one heck of a year in this country. Quarantining people has had a lot of negative repercussions on individuals, families, businesses, schools and houses of worship but with it we also saw a positive, a drastic decrease in active shootings. As we have watched the country re-open we have also seen the increase in active shootings. The FBI currently defines an active shooter as “an individual actively engaged in killing or attempting to kill people in a populated area.”
So, what is Run-Hide-Fight and how can understanding it help you and those around, have the opportunity to survive.
Run-Hide-Fight is a three-point plan, created by the Department of Homeland Security and taught in their program “Active Shooter, How to Respond”. First, we have to be totally honest with ourselves. It’s easier to ignore the possibility of an active shooter and the aftermath unless you or someone you love finds themselves in the midst of an attack. We are of the mindset that it won’t happen to me or not in my neighborhood. The reality is we do not know where or when they could happen. With most people quarantining at home we had seen a drop in active shootings, but now that the country is opening back up it is increasing.
What do you need to know?
Run- If you can Run…Run.
Run as far and as fast as you can to get to safety. You want to get as far away from the attacker as you can. In school, during a fire drill we are all taught to exit the building and line up or gather. This is different for an active shooter situation. Leave the building. Yes, bit do not corral or gather yourself with in an area. Go as far from the area as you can until you believe you have reached a safer place. If you are in more of an enclosed space be aware of your exits so that you are ready to run, instead of adding a delay trying to create your plan after the attack has started. Escape plans are critical and usually exist for commercial spaces. You need to know them or create your own in the moment. Often we look at the entry door or the public fire escape door of a restaurant as the only exit option. How else could you escape? What about through the kitchen?
Hide – If you can’t run, hide.
Hide- If you do not have the option to run, the next possibility is to hide and barricade. When you hide you want to attempt to find a space where you can not be seen. A place where you can be still and quiet. If you are able to hide in a room or closet then your next step is to barricade yourself in. Think about locking the door. What can you push in front of the door? Be aware of all accesses to the room and barricade them all if possible. Again, no movement, no cellphone noise…stay quiet. Once you believe the incident has stopped DO NOT LEAVE THE SPACE. Stay hidden and barricaded until law enforcement has cleared the space and comes to get you.
Fight – If you can’t run or hide, Fight.
Fight- Real life is not the movies and most of us are not trained to fight. If you could not run and escape or hide and barricade your next option is to fight. For those that are carrying and trained in defensive shooting (note I said defensive, not offensive) then the firearm is one choice. Remember that there are many tools for fighting besides a firearm. You may have a pepper spray, or martial arts training, there may be something within the room you could use as a weapon. Assess what is there and use what you can. Your most important tool will be your mindset. It is so important to train your brain, when you can, and develop your mindset. Many of us do not know what our response will be. Will we Fight, Flight or Freeze. Now is the time to research and explore what your steps are depending on how you will respond. Train with your mind as much as you have trained with a firearm or some other tool, and if you have not been training with those physical tools…its time.
Finally, please know that many mass shootings end with so many casualties because we, as civilians, have not trained ourselves for a trauma response. Seek out a Stop the Bleed program in your area. Learn the importance and how-to use a trauma kit. These are good for all traumatic situations. Not just an active shooter.
Here are a few links for other resources to gain more education on Run-Hide-Fight as well as Stop the Bleed info. Todays the day to take control of your future and be more Confident!
FBI Run, Hide Fight Video Run. Hide. Fight. — FBI
USCCA How to stop and Active Shooter How To Stop An Active Shooter – Bing video
DHS Stop the Bleed Course options Stop the Bleed | Homeland Security (dhs.gov)