“Flee, Hide or Fight!”

Tonight, I watched ABC’s 20/20 episode on what to do in case of a dangerous situation. It showed armed ex-employees in the workplace, store shooters and other situations. It interviewed people from multi-car pile-ups, rescuers of customers trapped in a burning building and those involved in the car hijacked by the alleged Boston bombers. It also gave suggestions of what one can do in such a volatile situation. It was riveting!

One of the video clips shown was from the City of Houston, regarding steps to take in case of an active shooter. I remember it well as I had a small part in the taping of that video. I was one of the people who fled and hid behind a fire truck. (You can’t see much more than my sunglasses in the half second the camera panned by.) There was plenty of down time, so I would pump the assistants who worked on the script for more information.

Tonight’s show had me thinking about school shootings. I googled active shooter videos. Currently, Ohio is giving out an active shooter training video from the Attorney General to every school district in the state. In such situations, school staff and other employees become first responders. Every second counts. The video is titled, “School Shootings: How to be Aware, Prepare, and be a First Responder in a Crisis.”

One of THE best videos for high school and college students to fight back that I found is by Alon Stivi, ex-Israeli Special Forces commando. It requires a determined mindset as students must step up. If there is no door lock or the attacker is determined to sho0t his way in, Stivi gives simple step-by-step manuevers to distract and disarm the intruder. It doesn’t require brute strength. It requires staying calm and having an action plan. If you are cornered, hiding under a desk will make you a sitting duck. Empowering students to fight back can save lives. Many of the techniques demonstrated are adaptable for other defensive situations. It’s excellent!

In Bergen County, New Jersey, a training video called, “Lockdown,” shows what two “teachers” did when active shooters entered their school. It goes on to explain what each did and did not do right. Knowing how to make split second choices under intense circumstances is a valuable tool.

Scott with Pragmatic Survival goes over some insightful tips to survive an active shooting. He points out possible tricks attackers may use that I didn’t even consider might happen. Years ago, I wouldn’t think that attackers would take the time to set traps. After seeing video of police swarming a shooter’s booby-trapped apartment, it’s no longer a far fetched idea. Scott’s video is worth watching.

The school year is winding down, but we parents can’t let our guards down. If you are able, consider volunteering at your child’s school. Seeing many extra sets of eyes watching out for our children’s safety might deter potential attackers. Whatever you read or watch, please do something to help prepare yourself and your family against a possible attack. The more we know, the better the chances for survival. We can’t always be with our children. Praying daily for our families is a good thing.

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