Work can be stressful enough without also thinking about things like the possibility of an armed gunman walking through the front door of your business or place of employment.
However, thinking about the potential risk is your first step to survival if such a scenario were to occur. With workplace shootings becoming increasingly common, we can’t just refuse to watch the news and hope for the best. As much as we resist even the thought of danger, we must admit the risk and take precautionary steps today that could save your life and others.
Here are four ways you can start at your workplace:
Plan an alternative escape route
If your office is located above the ground floor, invest in rope ladders that can be used to escape out a window if necessary.
Even if you do work on the first floor, you may still need to find an alternative way out if an active shooter enters your office. When the fight or flight mentality kicks in, we often become creatures of habit. If you habitually enter and exit your office through the front door on a daily basis, then your first instinct will probably be to run for the front door in an effort to escape. But if that’s where the shooter entered, that’s the last place you want to go.
To avoid running toward a shooter out of pure predisposition, think now about what exits are available to you in various scenarios.
Identify possible items that could be used as self defense
Look around your office. What do you have on hand that could serve as a weapon if you needed one? We’re not suggesting that you keep a kitchen knife in your desk drawer, but we definitely recommend that you know how to operate (or swing) that fire extinguisher in order to overcome an attacker.
Sometimes you may need to be more innovative. The marble candy dish on your desk, the pepper spray on your keychain, or the stilettos on your feet could all serve as weapons that allow you to survive an office shooting – or perhaps even stop one.
Purchase a Bleeding Control Kit
Items such as Band-Aids and Neosporin are useless for life threatening injuries. Medical supplies like tourniquets and gauze can stop bleeding and likely save a life while you wait for emergency response teams to arrive.
Sign up for an active shooter training class
Not only does a class give you the information you need to respond in an active shooter situation, but it also empowers you to apply what you’ve learned through hands-on practice.
There’s a big difference between knowing what to do, and actually doing it. Just ask anyone who unexpectedly found themselves in an emergency situation. Even if you know what to do, people often “freeze up.” Muscle memory is one way to ensure that your body responds effectively when your brain can’t recall the steps you thought you knew.
The Active Shooter Training classes at ProActive Response Group give you the chance to build that muscle memory by going through various scenarios and practicing emergency response through hands on training utilizing life-saving medical equipment. Click on the banner below to sign up for a class.