This week, I attended a lot of training. I had a two-day refresher on the COBIT 5.0 business/IT framework, and I had active shooter preparedness training yesterday by Virginia Capitol Police. Here's what I learned from the latter:
- Your response should be Run, Hide, or Fight (in that order).
- Look around your office and make a quick evacuation plan in case you had to flee. It's a good idea to do this when you go to new places.
- If you are hiding, cover windows, turn out lights, and mute your cell phone. A phone on vibrate could give away your location.
- Look around your office and see what you could use as a weapon if you had to.
- When fleeing or evacuating, stay calm. Put your hands up and spread out your fingers. The first responders may not know who the shooters are, and if you're carrying a bag or jacket, you don't want to be mistaken for a shooter.
- Most active shooter incidents are over in ten to fifteen minutes, but it does take law enforcement quite a while to clear a building after an event. If you're hiding, stay put until you're cleared by law enforcement.
- If you are hiding, lock your door or find something to block it.
- The first police on scene for an active shooting are there to neutralize the shooter(s). They are not there initially to aid victims.
- If you call 911 to report a shooting, be able to provide as much information as you can (e.g. number of shooters, location, number of victim, types of guns, etc.)
- Always follow all law enforcement instructions. It's a tense situation, and everyone is stressed. Don't make sudden moves. Stay calm.
- If you're in danger, find cover that will protect you from bullets (e.g. cement walls, heavy desks, etc.). Cars are not good cover unless you can get behind the engine block.
It was a good session. I tend to look for escape routes when I'm in new places (or on trains or planes). I'm a CK (cop's kid), and that was drummed in my head my whole life. Always have a plan. Also, I think it's important to know what you have in your office in case you do have to fight. (There's a heavy duty fire extinguisher outside my office.)
I hope you never have to experience a horrific event. But it is a good idea to be prepared. Make a plan.