The FBI recently released its data on the Active Shooter Incidents in the US for 2018. Although there was a slight drop in active shooter events to 27 from the high of 30 in 2017, this is still no cause for celebration. Schools, parks, restaurants and offices continue to be vulnerable targets to assailants for multiple reasons. However, in the past two years, 13 of the active shooters were taken on by witnesses, bystanders and even students, who inadvertently found themselves positioned to be a “first responder”.
Schools and businesses across the country are taking steps to prepare for an active shooter by conducting drills, table-top exercises and more. But these are preparations every single organization and family should conduct. How do I communicate to others that there is an active shooter in the area? Where can I establish a safe space to protect myself and others? Should I use a restroom, conference room or custodial closet? How can I exit a building through a window? What can I fight back with? Throw pots and pans? A hymnal when in church? Maybe cleaning supplies or a fire extinguisher?