By: Doug Parisi, Director of Training, SafeDefend.com
By now, we have all- unfortunately- been exposed to the horror of a mass murder event and watching the aftermath on the news and social media. Such cases are random attacks on the citizenry by an individual intent on harming as many people as possible until someone stops them. Everyone has likely thought: what would I do if I encountered such an atrocity?
Here are five essential things everyone should know to increase survival in this type of situation.
1. Situational awareness: Always be aware of your surroundings. Look for exits at the back or large stores. Consider exits through kitchens or in the back when in restaurants. In a large venue like a concert or sporting event, think of the closest way to exit (on the field, behind the stage, through the locker rooms). Recognize most people will run back the way they came but the front isn’t always the closest.
2. Keep moving: Unless you are barricaded in a room with a locked door, you must keep moving. Hiding isn’t an option. Your first instinct will be to get down. Once you can hear where the violence is coming from start moving. Keep low. Be quiet. Put as much distance between you and the attacker.
3. Secure yourself: If you have access to a room, consider the following. Does the door lock? Is it a solid door or flimsy? Does it open inwards or outwards? A locked door can thwart an attacker. Place objects in front of the door to slow down entry of an intruder. Stay out of sight from windows. Remain quiet except to call the police. Once you have established a barricade you should not open the door until police arrive.
4. Protect yourself at all costs: Be prepared to defend yourself. Look around for objects to throw that will distract a shooter momentarily as you flee. It is human instinct to duck when something comes at you which means the attacker isn’t shooting. If in a room look for anything to prevent them from breaking the threshold of the door. If your state allows you to defend yourself, consider pepper spray, batons, tasers, etc. which can be used. It isn’t your duty to stop the attacker, but if they are trying to hurt you- then take action.
5. Be Realistic: These incidents are extremely rare. Don’t alter your life or live in fear. The purpose is to be prepared, educated and have a plan. 10x more people win the lottery than are harmed in a mass murder event.