Gun violence in America has been a longstanding, looming epidemic in our society for years, but it needs to be talked about now more than ever. According to Gun Violence Archive, in 2019 there were more mass shootings than days in the year. But we can protect ourselves with the many active shooters safety tips.
As parents, it’s important to keep your children safe by making them aware of steps to take if ever in the presence of an active shooter. Having plans in place can make all the difference in surviving an attack and being able to productively respond in unsafe situations.
Your child’s school has likely planned drills on how to take shelter inside the building or evacuate safely and efficiently. But it’s imperative you have an open discussion with your kids to help keep them safe.
Here are a few essential active shooter safety tips to keep you and your family safe if ever trapped in these dangerous situations.
It’s easier said than done, but it’s important to never panic or freeze in emergency situation. Before you try hiding, you should attempt to escape. Make it harder for the shooter to properly track you by running in a zig-zag formation. Look for the nearest exit, ALWAYS leave your belongings behind, no matter how important, and evacuate whether others agree to follow or not. When you visit any building, such as a shopping mall or healthcare facility, it is vital to take the time to identify at least two nearby exits.
If you’re in a place with no feasible exits and evacuation is not possible, place large furniture in front of any entrances and exits. Attempt to hide out of sight behind strong structures and foundations. Your hiding place should be out of the active shooter’s direct view and also provide sturdy protection in case shots are fired. Never hide in a location that traps or restricts your free movement.
Silence your cell phone and other things that could be a source of noise. Lower your brightness and call 911 if you are safe and away from danger. One press of the Silent Beacon panic button can call 911 while sending multiple contacts your GPS location.
If in the end you must fight, commit to every action and act as aggressively as humanly possible. Improvise weapons and use whatever object you have available. These objects are heavy textbooks or fire extinguishers, to inflict injury in an effort to protect yourself.
It’s best to prepare before the possibility of an active shooting ever occurs, so you can react accordingly.
Active shooter drills have become more common as an abundance of gun massacres have made headlines. Urge school districts and businesses to develop policies beforehand in the event of a shooting. It’s also important to develop tools at home and make a plan with your family. So you are prepared in case you’re ever in a dangerous environment.
Sign up for active shooter, first aid, and tourniquet training. Knowing these skills will prepare you to care for yourself and others in case of an emergency. These skills potentially prevent the situation from becoming worse as well. In an active shooting encounter, always take care of yourself first, and then help the injured before first responders arrive. In these situations, “you are the help before help arrives.”
Also, get involved with community legislation and push for updated first aid kit standards, and increased active shooter and safety training for professional staff.
Evacuate in the direction police tell you to and always remain calm while listening to instructions. Put down any and all items in your hands and keep your hands visible at all times. Never make quick movements toward officers such as holding on to them for safety or running towards them.
If you see suspicious activity, let an authority or law enforcement officer know as soon as possible. Active shooters often share characteristics and exhibit odd behavior in the weeks before a violent attack. This behavior can signal imminent violence but is rarely ever reported to police officials. Know the signs, which might include harassment, abuse, bullying, violence, or threats towards either humans or animals. Let your kids know that if any of their peers ever exhibit strange behavior and make threatening or harmful claims. They should always inform a teacher or adult figure as the best active shooter safety tips.
Silent Beacon is a wearable panic button that calls 911 or any pre-stored number while sending multiple contacts your GPS location.
Different emergencies require different responses. Silent Beacon allows you to customize who you call for help, whether that’s 911, emergency services or a family member or friend. Send your GPS location in real-time via text, email, and push notifications to people who can help you in an emergency.
In sensitive situations, like an active shooter scenario, disable your LED lights and audio to silently notify your emergency contacts without revealing that you’ve activated the Silent Beacon. When calling for help in silent mode, your voice can be heard through the Beacon, but your contact’s voice will be muted.
This device is pivotal in keeping your child safe in intense and unfamiliar situations, like the sad and scary reality of an active shooting.