In the chaos and panic of an active shooter situation, it can be hard to know what to do. Law enforcement said it is important to have a plan. We have gone over on how to run, hide and fight, but there are other ways you can protect yourself. KREM 2 spoke to a personal safety training expert to find out what your active shooter situation plan should look like.
Personal Safety Training Incorporated founder David Fowler travels the country educating people about how to protect themselves from others.
“If I ask you, who could walk into your environment right now?” Fowler asked, “Could a violent person? Yes.”
Fowler said most people are familiar with the idea of the “Run, hide, fight” method, but there are things you should start doing now, so if you do end up in a dangerous situation you will be ready to follow through with those three words.
When you walk into a new and unfamiliar place, Fowler said you should immediately look for exits and possible escape routes. Once you spot the exits, he suggested to visualize what you would do to get out quickly and visualize what you would do if one of the exits was blocked.
“Our environments change all the time. I’m going to walk into this building, what are my escape routes there? What are my escape routes in the parking lot?” Fowler asked. “What are my escape routes at the casino, at the venue, at the hospital, wherever you’re at, just having that awareness of what’s around you,” Fowler said.
Since many of us frequent the same places, Fowler said it will get easier each time to visualize escape routes because it becomes habit. He also recommended scanning the room for places to take cover in case you cannot get out and visualize how you would get to those spots. And if you need to fight, Fowler pointed out almost anything can be used as a weapon, even things as small as salt and pepper shakers sitting on the table.
Fowler also mentioned it is important to keep your head up so you can pay attention, so it would be a good idea to not be glued to your phone.
“It’s just a new world that we’re living in because of the potential violence that’s out there, we just need to be aware. You know your head is up, knowing what is around you and then trusting that feeling that something just isn’t right,” Fowler said.
He said you should share your safety plan with your children in a way that is not scary to them but still informative.
At the end of the day, not every situation can be avoided. Sometimes you just end up in the wrong place at the wrong time, but having a plan and know your escape route can help under pressure.