Active Shooter Preparedness: We All Need A Plan

Active shooter events can happen most anywhere, and at any time. It is important to have a plan for what you would do in the unfortunate event you find yourselves faced with an active assailant.  You will need to tailor the plan for the places you are most often because different environments and different surroundings will mean you have different options for action.  

And what are those options for action?  One of the best ways to keep yourself safe is by locking doors.  Putting locks on doors is one of the best ways to prevent perpetrators from entering. But what if your door doesn’t have a lock?  In 2007, I found myself in an active shooter event at Virginia Tech. My classmates and I built a barricade because we couldn’t lock our classroom door. 

So what does a barricade look like in the event of an active shooter? For my classmates and me, it meant putting furniture up against the door and pushing against it. We were able to prevent the shooter’s multiple entry attempts by building this barricade. However, I can’t take credit for this idea, it was my classmates who thought quickly and acted quickly.

Active shooter events are usually short and fast. If you find yourself faced with an active threat, most likely, you won’t have five minutes to figure out what you are going to do, you will have five seconds. So spend the five minutes now - thinking, planning, and preparing – for what you would do in the unfortunate event that you are near an active assailant. And make a plan for the places you are most often - whether that is school work, or even at the grocery store.  It’s better to be over prepared, then under prepared.

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