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Old 01-08-2010, 19:20   #1
mercop
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Surviving the active shooter

In the wake of work place shootings, like the recent St Louis plant shooting, let’s take a look at some strategies on how to protect oneself in the workplace. The first thing is to understand the Three A’s of safety and put them into practice. This article is geared specifically to the workplace, but they can be applied to any location.

Awareness- Constantly access the feeling and mood of your workplace. Is there a specific person that makes you feel uncomfortable? Does your workplace control access with ID badges? Are they color coded and easy to identify, or are they small pictures with small writing that are hard to read?

* Have you heard a coworker arguing on the phone?
* Has your workplace laid off or fired anyone who made threats upon leaving?
* Do you work someplace that is viewed by some as a high value target, like an abortion clinic, government building, or animal testing facility?
* Have you been made aware of threats made against your company by management?
* Know your physical address.
* Know where all the exits are, especially where you spend the majority of your time. There are likely Emergency Evacuation Maps posted all over the building. Take the time to look at them.
* Know what doors are fire rated (more likely to stop a bullet) they can be identified by a tag on the door (hinge side).
* Know what doors open out. These doors are hard to kick in and will likely be by passed by an active shooter. You can tell how the doors open by looking at the Emergency Evacuation Map.

* When your attention is drawn to someone, even before you know why, make a habit of making note of their physical description from head to toe. Age in 5 yr increments. Height in 2-inch increments, weight in 5 lb increments.

Avoidance- Getting away from the threat that you have become aware of. In this case an active shooter.

* Get up, train yourself to get out of your seat when you are startled by a loud sound. Being in a sitting position makes you an easy target.
* Be prepared to leave on a seconds notice. Have your keys and cell phone on you.
* Have a mini go bag containing at least the following that you can grab-

1. Gloves- there will likely be broken glass and protecting your hands is a must.
2. Roll of gauze and tape- this is for treating a gunshot or any other penetrating trauma.
3. Multi-tool- You may have to cut something or loosen screws.
4. Flashlight- depending on the circumstances the electricity may be cut by the shooter or the police. Some of the most secure rooms may have no exterior windows and will be dark even during the day.
5. Lightstick- this can be helpful to let the police on the outside where you are.
6. Sharpie- we have seen several times that being able to communicate with police on the outside can be crucial. By using the sharpie and a piece of cardboard you can communicate just about anything.

* Use the most efficient route to get out of the building if you can. Be cautious when opening doors to the outside. They could be booby-trapped or there could be a secondary threat on the outside of the door.
* If you cannot exit the building, try to get to what you know to be a secure room with a lock. DO NOT go into bathrooms. The doors often have no locks and there is nothing to put in front of the door. Conference rooms are a good idea because they usually have heavy furniture you can use to block/reinforce the door in addition to adding ballistic protection. Once in side-

1. Turn off all lights in the room and close the shades, block all the light that you can.
2. Put anything heavy in front of the door.
3. Identify anything that may be of use to you in the room.
4. Get into what you believe is the safest corner of the room.
5. Attempt calling 911, understand your phone will likely be locked by emergency communications.

Aggression- You recognized the attack and did your best to get away, but you are stuck in the building.

* DO NOT look for the shooter. Be quiet and listen. Be sure your cell phone is on vibrate.
* If you have locked the door and barricaded it, the shooter will be forced to force his way in.
* If it gets to the point that he is going to get through the door and you cannot get out of a window or into another room, prepare to defend yourself.
* Arm yourself with something heavy that you can swing. Just before he gets through the door, position yourself on the non-hinge side of the door. He will probably lead into the room with the weapon. Do whatever you have to do to get behind the weapon and strike him in the head until he is no longer a threat.

To some people this may sound extreme, especially the part about violence. Understand that you have done everything that you can. It is either you or them.
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Old 01-09-2010, 01:39   #2
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Old 01-09-2010, 15:13   #3
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Thanks for this post. I think we all need to be more aware in every situation. Often times we find ourselves being too comfortable in the places we go everyday, like work, school, and home.

It's not wrong or silly to be aware of exits and rooms that provide safety, and have a plan of action. I work in STL and this is just a great reminder to myself to always be aware of these things. I am fortunate to have a boss that does not mind if employee's CCW as long as they are permit holders.

Folks just remember... this CAN happen at your work, school, where you shop, and where you "party". If you don't have a plan, let's hope to God someone near you does, and is willing to help you.

Thanks again for these helpful tips. I hope everyone reads this post and takes note of all that is said. Very helpful tips.

(side note: to expand on the OP point of having a bag for preparedness. This is EASY to do at home, and if you have a desk or locker at work. So why not do it? It'll be great to know it's there when you do need it.)
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Old 01-09-2010, 15:16   #4
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I was just thinking to myself, it would be great if someone could make a training video out of these tips.

If I had a cam, I would.
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Old 01-09-2010, 17:03   #5
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good post. i often think of what i would do if there was a shooter on campus and he came into my class. i'm a big fella with a flat-top. i probably look like more of a threat than that 120-pound volleyball girl up front... man i wish i could carry on campus.
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Old 01-09-2010, 18:15   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tadbart View Post
i probably look like more of a threat than that 120-pound volleyball girl up front... man i wish i could carry on campus.
I wish you could too... As I wish I also could have. It's ridiculous thing that you can't. Although I hope you never have the need, I fear someday you may. College and University campuses are too OPEN. And Have too many people running around on campus. Even if they are closed off and restricted by access cards, what's to keep another student from bringing a gun to class?
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Old 01-10-2010, 19:18   #7
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Consider improvised weapons. Fire Extinguisher (both as blunt as well as spray to distract) Electric.. (If you have a knife, a cord "vacume,lamp,etc" and some tape and a stick......)
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Old 01-11-2010, 07:03   #8
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shocking
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