Active Shooters/Terrorists


For more information on Run-Hide-Fight and to take FEMA’s FREE accredited active shooter lesson, click here.

Despite the media’s enthusiastic coverage of every active shooter / terror attack – terrorism remains a rare event – so rare in fact, you have a better chance of getting trampled to death by a cow rather than being a victim of terrorism.   

That said, today there are Run-Hide-Fight programs being taught by government agencies, private security firms and preparedness consultants.

When I was teaching seminars for first responders one of the phrases I heard over and over was “Violence Of Action”.

By definition, “Violence Of Action” means the unrestricted use of speed, strength, surprise, and aggression to achieve total dominance against an enemy.  

The Run-Hide-Fight strategy being taught today requires a commitment to VOA.  This is because when a terrorist attacks, they come with a plan – and that plan includes them not living through the day. 

In fact, they come with a plan on not letting you live through the day. 

Just like the other tools for preparedness planning in the Prepaared For Bear guide and on this blogsite – I hope you never need them – but in the scenario below, you need to be Prepared for Bear.

Take the online course using this link – or find a private instructor teaching this course and make the commitment that you’ll Run, Hide and if you must – Fight! 

Do so for all those who could not – the soldiers at Fort Hood or the Pensacola Naval Air Station; or the guests caught by surprise in the Pulse Nightclub or at the Christmas party in San Bernardino – or the many others on a list that’s grown far too long. Do so for your family and those that love you. 

Prepare for Bear.

Reduce your chances of being the victim of an active shooter / terrorist
  • Have a plan for if you’re confronted by an active shooter / terrorist
  • Take first aid, CPR and Stop The Bleed classes
  • When entering some place new like a large venue, stadium or outdoor concert, look for the exits so you will know where to run if forced to escape
  • Be aware of your surroundings at all times – if something doesn’t feel right, it usually isn’t
  • When at public events, don’t get caught up texting, sending “look-at-me” emails or social media
What to do during an active shooter / terrorist threat
  • If you hear consistent or repetitive popping noises like firecrackers or explosions – and it’s not 4th of July or New Year’s Eve – start moving – RUN – do not stop to film or live stream the attack – RUN. This should be your first instinct.
  • Evacuate the scene. If possible, help others escape and warn others to RUN
  • If you can’t RUN – shelter in place – HIDE
  • Stay as quiet as possible, send a group text to everyone you know telling them your situation and location – do not wait for replies, turn off ALL electronics, phones should not vibrate or light up
  • Lock/ block doors, turn off all lights
  • Do not hide in groups, HIDE separately, spread out along walls, in closets, behind doors
  • HIDE until law enforcement gives you an all clear
“Despite what your momma told ya, violence does solve problems.” – Chris Kyle, American Sniper
What to do if directly confronted by an active shooter / terrorist
  • Can’t RUN?  Can’t HIDE?  Armed? Take a deep breath, put a big smile on your face and have a gun FIGHT!  Remember every safety course you’ve ever taken, remember every time you made your cowboy cap gun go “pop” as a kid!   Today’s your day and you got a free pass – point, click, repeat, reload – as necessary!  FIGHT! 
  • Unarmed? FIGHT!  Use every weapon of opportunity available – a vehicle, fire extinguisher, baseball bat, scalding hot water, mace, hair spray, bug spray, bleach, rocks, chairs, scissors, machete, chains, forks, knives, bottles, pens, high heels, metal nail file, car keys, the spine of a book – your goal is to cause severe bodily injury, a debilitating TBI and/or a lethal injury – cowards never expect resistance – so resist!  FIGHT!
  • If there is an explosion – expect a second, this is a common terrorist tactic – KEEP FIGHTING!
  • Never give in to a terrorist’s demands or their cries for mercy – beat them until they beg arriving law enforcement for help
What to do when law enforcement arrives
  • Know that law enforcement’s primary task is to gain control and end the situation
  • Also know law enforcement will walk past the injured to complete their primary task
  • Follow law enforcements shouts, commands and instructions – evacuate in the direction they came from unless otherwise instructed
  • Keep your hands high and empty, hold your fingers spread wide and visible to law enforcement
  • Take care of yourself first, then assist getting the injured to safety
  • Provide first aid to those injured around you if trained to do so
What to expect after your safe
  • Expect an emotional “dump” –  a meltdown – shakes, panic, uncontrollable crying
  • Don’t talk to anyone until you have written down everything you remember and hire a lawyer. Let the lawyer speak from your written narrative
  • Do not give a verbal statement – not to law enforcement, especially not to the media
  • Seek professional counseling
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