Active Shooters- What's In Your Kit?
Updated: Feb 25, 2019
With active shooter situations on the rise, it becomes increasingly necessary to prepare. According to Ready.gov in accordance with the Department of Homeland Security, the options of running and hiding should be exhausted before resorting to fighting. Fighting should be an absolute last resort. Your goal is really to buy time until police arrive, and most active shooter situations are over in five minutes or less. If, however, running and hiding are not options, and it becomes necessary to fight, some creativity can be an excellent weapon. Ready.gov recommends several tips if you have to fight. These are quoted.
1. Commit to your actions and act as aggressively as possible against the shooter.
2. Recruit others to ambush the shooter with makeshift weapons like chairs, fire extinguishers, scissors, books etc.
3. Be prepared to cause severe or lethal injury to the shooter.
4. Throw items and improvise weapons to distract and disarm the shooter.
It helps to have items in a kit in case it is ever necessary. Here are a few creative ideas. Feel free to add to it. Be creative and think outside the box. Your safety is what matters. Take your mind to that place that you hope your body never has to go.
1. A small, lightweight fire extinguisher. You can use this to spray the shooter in the face. The foam will temporarily blind and suffocate the shooter so that you can hit him over the head with it. Remember to be aggressive.
2. A ball peen hammer. If you need to break a window to get out of the building, this little hammer will come in handy. Strike the window in the corner where it is most stiff. If you hit the middle, as is most people’s first instinct, the hammer will bounce back and could cause injury.
3. At least 6 ft. of rope. You can use this to tie the door shut or tie it to the handle and hold it around the corner. It can also be used to tie the shooter’s hands if you end up in a position to have to fight him or to lower people out of a window if necessary.
4. Canned food items. No, these are not for eating. They are for throwing. Having a canned food drive is an excellent way to keep a secret weapon stashed in the room.
5. Long-range pepper spray. The use is pretty obvious. Shoot the shooter in the face and get the gun away from him.
6. A belt or a hollowed can. If you are dealing with a door that opens outward and is thus useless to barricade, it typically has a scissor hinge. Use a belt to cinch down the hinge so the shooter cannot get in. A hollowed tin can may also be used for this purpose. Just slip it over the hinge and the door will not open.
7. If you end up having to lockdown, a dark cloth or board may come in handy to block the window. If you do not have this, stack something against the door to block the window.
The biggest and most important thing is to have a plan. Draw up an active shooter plan with your students or employees just as you would a fire escape plan. Have a plan for what to do if you need to run, hide, and fight. Your preparation could save lives.