It only takes one hit from a bullet to a vulnerable spot of your body to end your life. Yet people have managed to survive horrific situations involving gunfire throughout history by following survival tips.
The second you hear gunshots, try to locate an escape route. Even if everything is confusing, try to take a second to know where the shooter or shooters are and go the opposite way.
Don’t assume that there’s only one person doing the attack. As you make your way toward an exit, don’t run away in a panic. Instead, go as quickly as you can, keep your head down, and stay out of sight as much as possible.
Trying to escape might mean not following the crowd of screaming people. When people are screaming and making a lot of noise, it lets the shooter or shooters know exactly where they are.
In the event that your escape routes are blocked, you next best bet is to find a place that you can hide and stay until the threat is over. Look for a place where you can get completely out of sight.
That might be a location such as a room you can lock, a janitorial closet, a bathroom, a break room, a walk in refrigerator or in an office. Once you get inside the room, you’ll want to block access to the door.
While you’re in the room, quietly add layers between you and the door. Keep your head down and lie flat on the floor. If it comes to a point where you must escape from a safe room and run, constantly be aware of your surroundings.
If you get cornered, fight back with whatever you have on hand such as a computer monitor, desk items and anything else you can throw or beat the assailant with. For shooting cases in large public places such as a mall, use whatever you can reach to defend yourself if you have to.
Never make a move blindly. The shooter or shooters are actively searching for victims. If you run directly into his path, you could be next. If you can’t see where you’re going, don’t go that way.
If you barrel through a door without checking first, the shooter could be on the other side. When you’re in the middle of gunfire, don’t take the time to call anyone except emergency authorities.
You can’t think clearly when you have a sobbing loved one crying in your ear. Keep your phone off so it doesn’t distract you or call attention to your location. Save yourself and not your possessions.
You need your hands free. If you’ve been shopping, let go of your bags so you can run unencumbered and have your hands free to fight back if necessary. If the worst case scenario occurs and you happen to end up in the shooter’s line of fire and you can’t fight back, then you must run.
To keep yourself from becoming an easy target, never do the expected – which is to run in a straight line. Run from side to side in a zig zag line, and try to keep objects between you and the shooter.