How to survive an active shooter

We are all at risk. Although we trust the police to repond and rush to our aid, they won’t save everyone. We must know what to do to save ourselves and those around us.

Within the past month there have been shootings causing injuries and fatalities in a church, a grocery, an elementary school, a holiday celebration, and a medical office.

Among the dead are employees, customers, grade school age children, teachers, physicians, a receptionist, a patient and spouse. Ethnically they were Caucasian, Black, Asian, and Hispanic. Men and women, boys and girls. And these are just the ones that I remember reading about.

An active shooter is an individual actively engaged in killing or attempting to kill people in a populated area, 

Active Shooter Resources-FBI

We are all at risk. Although we trust the police to repond and rush to our aid, they won’t save everyone. We must know what to do to save ourselves and those around us.

Safety professionals offer these guidelines that we should learn and remember. In the panic of the moment it will be difficult to think through a rational plan to survive. Be prepared every day; that may be the day you need it.

RUN

  1. Wherever you are, always know where the exits are, preferably ones you can easily and quickly reach; locate at least 2 if possible in case one becomes inaccessible.  
  2. Your first response to a threat should be escape; run to the nearest exit as soon as safely possible; go, even if others are not willing to go with you.
  3. Leave your stuff behind. Run with empty hands up and visible.
  4. Listen to police and answer their questions, try to give them accurate information about what is happening. Get away to a safe place and stay out of the responders’ way.

HIDE

  1. If escape is not possible, then hide, preferably in a locked room. Push heavy furniture against the door.
  2. Silence your cell phone when hiding. If you can, call 911 but don’t speak if you might be heard by the shooter; just leave the line open so the dispatcher can hear.

FIGHT

  1. If neither escape or hiding is possible, then engage the shooter, try to disable the person with the gun.
  2. If you’ve been hiding, make a plan to defend yourself. If you are with other people, work together.
  3. Aim to control the weapon; work together to disable the shooter with anything you can use as a weapon. Attack the shooter verbally, yelling.

A coordinated ambush can incapacitate the attacker. You are fighting for your life-don’t fight fair.

Active Shooter Resources-FBI

This video from the FBI website graphically shows what to do when confronted with an active shooter situation, then details each step. Well worth watching.

exploring the HEART of health and safety

As I write this, funerals for two physician victims of recent shootings are happening in my city. We need action to end this vicious cycle of violence that has become another pandemic.

Note that these guidelines should coordinate with protocols in place at your school, church, or workplace. Your primary goal should always be your own safety, and that of others if possible.

I appreciate all of you who are following Watercress Words, and if you aren’t I invite you to join the wonderful people who are. You can meet some of them in the sidebar, where you can click on their image and visit their blogs. Use the form to get an email notification of new posts. Don’t worry, you won’t get anything else from me.

Dr Aletha

photos of 2 men and 2 women who were victims of a mass shooting

How two dying women teach us how to live

Here are two books I have reviewed about two women who died, one old, the other young. Both of them struggled with illness a long time and both families “kept hoping that she was just a corner away from getting back on her feet.” And both families were grateful for the time they had with her.

I subscribe to Dr. Alicia Britt Chole’s newletter where she recently announced the passing of her mother. I savor obituaries because I feel like I have made a new friend, like this woman-

“My Mama went to be with Jesus on April 4th. She was among the most generous, loving, and sacrificial souls I’ve ever known. Mom’s been struggling with illnesses for the past five months but she’s such a fighter, we and the doctors kept hoping that she was just a corner away from getting back on her feet.

But she was a corner away from dancing with her Savior. Oh the ache. I can’t express the ache. I am grateful for every moment with my Mom, for the millions of memories, for being so well loved.

In her last 24 hours she was able to say “I love you” to each of her grandchildren and several dear friends and her sister. Keona sang Amazing Grace for her. Louie kissed her and told her he loved her. Jonathan played Amazing Grace for her on the violin and read Psalm 23 to her. ⠀

Mom helped anyone she could in any way she could. Her hands were constantly serving through cooking (her love language), bookkeeping (her profession), petting her puppy, taking care of her chickens, and loads of hugs for all of us.

If you knew her, you felt seen and loved by her. I’m so grateful we’ll have eternity together. Please pray for our family in between here and there.”

P.S. Mom said that if anybody wanted to send flowers, to instead ask them to, “please buy a toy for a child and leave it in a park.”

Here are two books I have reviewed about two women who died, one old, the other young. Both of them struggled with illness a long time and both families “kept hoping that she was just a corner away from getting back on her feet.”

Each woman’s family was grateful for the time they had with her and for how she faced death taught them how to live.

I hope you savor my reviews and maybe find the books and read them too.

Grand Canyon , USA

Driving Miss Norma- why saying yes to life matters

When faced with death, Norma chose living. And in doing so, she and her family learned what really matters at the end. Through this book, they share what they learned with us.

man and woman holding the letters L O V E

To Joey, With Love- a movie review

Although I cried throughout, I’m glad I watched To Joey, With Love, and recommend it to you; it is an extraordinary love story that demonstrates the power of love and faith to get ordinary people through the worst life can throw at them.

exploring the HEART of health at the end of life

I appreciate all of you who are following Watercress Words, and if you aren’t I invite you to join the wonderful people who are. You can meet some of them in the sidebar, where you can click on their image and visit their blogs. Use the form to get an email notification of new posts. Don’t worry, you won’t get anything else from me.

Please don’t leave without visiting these pages to learn more about me and other ways this blog can help you. And I would greatly appreciate your sharing this post whereever you are social.

The next time someone I know dies, I’ll think about buying a toy and leaving it in a park. How about you?

Dr. Aletha
a toy castle and shovel in the sand
photo by TheRealFindo at LIGHTSTOCK.COM, an affiliate
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