The 8 Crucial Steps to Follow to Survive a Mass Shooting
The Las Vegas shooting incident is now known as one of the worst mass shootings in the United States, and it has woken up everyone around the world, including myself. Not only has it united hundreds of people around the area, but it woke people up, having them wonder: What if this happens to me?
That is why you must be prepared for the worst and ensure that you have the knowledge and what to do to escape safely. I will be showing you the tips you need to protect yourself from a mass shooting.
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Protecting Yourself from a Mass Shooting
These tips are one of the most important things to follow, as you will need to remain prepared and calm throughout the whole incident. This will prevent you from getting hurt or sustaining any major injuries during the shootouts. It pays to be prepared.
- The first priority is to run away from the area, as far as you can. Identify all the escape routes of the building and plan two or more escape routes. Avoid any areas where you hear gunfire.
- React quickly. Avoid freezing up or figuring out what to do. Find the nearest escape route, take off anything that slows you down (such as heels), and run once you hear shots. Forget ANY of your belongings, as they won't be as important as your life.
- Run to the exit directly, avoiding any zigzags or bends that slow you down. The only exception here is if you need to take cover from the shooter going to the exit.
- Bring others with you, encouraging them to run. Drag them if they are unable to move. Saving others is just as a priority as saving yourself. The more people, the harder it will be for the shooter to target individuals. While running, you may want to grab a weapon and attack close distance. But this is the absolute last resort.
- If you are unable to run to an exit, then the next option is to hide and take cover. Call the emergency number, lock and barricade any entry of the room you are in, and grab whatever you can use as a weapon, just in case.
- Turn off the lights in the room to prevent the shooters from entering the room, increasing the chances of survival. When the shooter is near, then get away from the door and take cover, staying away from windows as well.
- When finding cover, look for areas that will stop a bullet, such as concrete walls, support beams, or very thick trees. If you are in an office, hide in a heavy desk or cabinet, but without restricting your movement. While hiding, turn off ANYTHING that makes a noise, from your watch down to the phone. Also, stay calm and collected while hiding, as this will lessen of the shooter finding you.
- As a last resort, play dead if the shooter comes in. If the shooter catches you, then there is no choice but to attack. Do NOT reason out and attack with any sharp or heavy objects, committing yourself to fighting and being aggressive until the weapon is out of the shooter's hands and he is heavily injured.
How to Deal with What Happens After
Now that you know how to defend yourself, what would happen after? The aftermath may come with trauma and you need to know how to properly cope with it. Here are the ways on going on with your life after the incident:
Talking About It
You should honor your feelings and validate your emotions. Get support from loved ones and counselors, who are able to give you the care and reassurance you need. Talking with those who have experienced the same thing helps you feel less alone.
The grief is long, so take the time to recover and feel. You may want to take a break or go back to your routine.
Take a Break
There will be a lot of news regarding the incidents and other rage dies. While you want to remain informed, it's best to lessen the news to prevent too much stress. Distract yourself.
Take Care of Yourself and Others
Learn to engage in healthy habits and behaviors, which will help you cope. Eat balanced meals, get some rest, and start exercising. Avoid unhealthy eating habits or whatever may cause pain. Relaxation techniques and finding a hobby will help as well.
You can also opt to do something productive, such as helping others and joining organizations.
Preventing a Shooting Incident
To avoid incidents like these from happening to your community, you should know how to prevent it from occurring. Here are things you should follow:
Report Suspicious Activity
If ever you find anyone acting weird or holding a weapon, then don't hesitate to report it to the nearest security. Always stay alert and watch out for anyone planning a shooting. If you hear any conversations and threats regarding shooting or killing, report it, as it is a sign of them planning ahead.
Be Aware of the Area's Lockdown Procedures
It's better to be aware of the evacuation procedures and what happens during a lockdown. Join events that talk about prevention of shooting incidents and learn your way around the building you are usually in, may it be school or work. While it's difficult to follow protocol during the shooting itself, it can help you react better than what's expected.
Prepare Yourself for Shooting
I recommend that you prepare yourself for anything that may happen, improving your strength and endurance along the way. Attend and participate in self-defense classes. Keep a gun in your home for your family's safety. Be sure to keep your weapons clean and safeguard them with a best gun safe to prevent your firearm from getting into the wrong hands.
Knowing some tricks can help you become more confident if ever the last resort is to attack the shooter.
I hope that this article on protecting yourself from a mass shooting has helped you become more knowledgeable on what to do. This isn't just about surviving the shooting itself, but to find that calm place to help you cope from tragedies like these.
My thoughts and prayers are with all the families and victims of this awful tragedy. I hope that we will not have to live in a world filled with these kinds of incidents again.