Here are seven tips to remember how to respond:
1. Figure Out. Don’t give in to the denial instinct. Figure out what is happening. Those firecracker sounds in the parking lot might not be firecrackers.
2. Get Out – Get yourself out of harms way. Make a practice of knowing your exit points so you can avoid getting trapped.
3. Call Out – If you have a phone, call 911. Don’t assume someone else is calling. Explain where you are located and if you are injured or not. Even if you are unable to speak, just having the phone line open will allow operators to listen in and provide valuable intel. If your building has a PA system, or if your PA system consists of yelling, use clear language to identify the event. Scrap code language like “Code Red.” No one will understand or remember what that code means in the face of real danger.
4. Hide Out – Keep out of sight. These killers are after anything alive. They aren’t usually targeting anyone specifically, so staying out of their line of sight is crucial.
5. Keep Out – Blockade the area you’re in to keep them from getting in. These terrible episodes typically only last a few minutes, so these killers will not want to waste seconds breaking down barriers. They will prefer to move on to an easier target. Be aware of your surroundings and use whatever movable objects are at your disposal to rig up any barrier between you and them.
6. Help Out – If you have a conceal to carry license, notify police who you are and what you look like so they don’t confuse you as the shooter. I you are in a room with other people, notify police you are providing protection so they can focus their efforts elsewhere. If you pursue the killer, identify yourself as the good guy to other bystanders so they don’t mistake you as the shooter either. As simple as it sounds, keeping yourself and others calm could mean the difference between life and death. Tend to the injured and leave the dead – they will be tended to later.
7. Take Out – If all else fails, attack as aggressively as possible. Use any object you can get your hands on; a fork, camera, phone, belt, hot liquid, etc. At this point everything is on the line, so don’t hold back. Whatever you do is better than doing nothing.
Being prepared and having at least considered some of these points can have a dramatic effect on how you react. Just like practicing a fire drill, it has become a necessity to practice active killer drills. Just as many schools have employed such drills, so it is equally important that the business community get engaged and actively prepares for these situations as well.