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Friday, July 29, 2016

What to do if there's an active shooter

Posted Tuesday, August 14, 2012, at 9:22 PM

On the city of Nevada's Web site, there's a link to a U.S. Department of Homeland Security brochure on what to do when there's an "active shooter."

I admit I've wondered about that. What would I do, if someone randomly came in an started shooting up the place? It's happened in offices. It's happened in malls, schools, subways, churches and movie theaters -- all the sorts of places where I've always felt safe. I've just been lucky, I guess.

There's seemingly no rhyme or reason to who lives and who dies, so the idea of finding out how to protect oneself seemed kind of pointless. At least, it seemed pointless to those sometimes cynical folks like me (It can't be helped. Comes from two decades of the view from behind a journalist's notebook) But it's not really pointless. Training and public education -- even to do the most natural, seemingly normal thing when you're under attack -- has, I'm sure, comforted many a soul and saved more than a few lives.

Essentially, the first few pages of the brochure tell citizens that if there's an active shooter nearby, they should run, hide or disarm the shooter (this is a last resort) No praying is mentioned but I can guarantee you there'll be praying if this sort of thing ever happens anywhere near me. When they're safe, call 911.

It may seem a simplistic plan, but it's a plan; and people who have a plan of some sort seem to fare better in disasters and attacks.

The brochure goes into more detail; suggesting locking and securing doors, putting heavy furniture in front of doors, hiding in a place that's "out of the active shooter's view." (No kidding. Yes, it really said that. But there are other tips, like silencing cell phones, that might make hiding more secure and might make a difference. A ringing cell phone could attract the shooter to someone who's hiding. People think they'd think of that without training. But maybe not. It's years of training that make us immediately want to call 911, isn't it?

There's more to the brochure -- information on how to react when the police arrive and what to expect in the aftermath.

If you'd like to read more, here's the link: http://www.nevadamo.org/u-s-department-o....

You might just find something that somehow, someday, might save your life.

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Lynn Wade
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Exploring the obvious and the not so obvious in search of the oh, so elusive "something to do' that's all around us.
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