How to Survive a Mass Shooting

October 5, 2016 in Best of Both, Emergency Preparedness, Resources, safety by MyBestofBothWorlds

How to Survive a Mass Shooting

This is a blog I never imagined writing.

However I feel compelled to share the information that was shared with me while at Interact 4.0 training. Last week, I had two full days of Interact 4.0 training scheduled and thought to myself, while I myself may never using this training in hospital setting it’s important for me to have insights into what our skilled nursing facility (SNFs/nursing homes) partners have to implement in order to fulfill NY State DSRIP requirements

Well after a brief introduction, our Interact instructor Betty, said that she begins all of her training the same way and that we should bear with her.  She started off by saying that she was a survivor of a mass shooting, so she hoped that what she was about to say would sink in and stay with us.  (As you can tell from this blog post it did!)

Firstly, please silence your phones, but don’t turn them off.  You should always have your phone with you.  I wish I had mine in reach the day this happened to me.  Next, let’s take a minute to get familiar with where the exits are. And since this was a new building and conference room we were in, we reviewed them.  Then, Betty explained that she was at the beauty parlor getting her hair done, when the lone gunman walked into the shop.

photocredit Morguefile.com

photocredit Morguefile.com

She thought she was in a nightmare that was unfolding. Then Betty remembered the conversation she and her husband had as it replayed in her head.  He discussed how to survive a mass shooting, she thought it incomprehensible to be even discussing the topic.  Quickly she replayed their brief discussion and since she couldn’t run anywhere or hide, she did the next best thing, she hit the floor so she was not in the gunman’s line of vision.

Next as she was becoming one with the floor as Betty put it, she remembered the golden rule her husband had warned her about NEVER EVER SPEAK with someone who has a gun.  And as she thought this to herself, one of the workers began to approach the gunman and tried to convince him he didn’t want to do this.  The gunman pointed right at her chest and pulled the trigger.  As the gunman moved further into the shop, getting closer to his intended target Betty’s stylist, another co-worker motioned toward him and spoke which ended up being the same result, a bullet to the chest.  The stylist was then shot in the head, someone else moved and the gunman emptied his weapon.

According to Betty, bullets were flying all over and then she felt him approach her.  He opened a black pack, took out another clip and reloaded his weapon and she held her breath.  As did we all as she recounted this experience to us and someone else caught his eye, his attention was on that person as a target.

Shortly there after, although it felt like hours to Betty and everyone in the room listening to her encounter, the SWAT team arrived.  The SWAT team is NOT there to provide comfort or medical attention.  They are there to eliminate the threat.  So again Betty recounted what her husband said in their discussion of how to survive a mass shooting and DID NOT GET UP, instead she slightly raised her arm and hand with a thumbs up sign.  That was all it took for SWAT to recognize that she was alive and would be attended to in short order.

photocredit Morguefile.com

photocredit Morguefile.com

Betty recommended we watch the YouTube Video entitled Run. Hide. Fight.  I’ve embedded it below. It runs at just under six minutes and is certainly worth viewing.  With the world we live in today, how to survive a mass shooting via education, awareness and preparation could save your life and those you love.  I pray we will never find ourselves in this situation. I am grateful to Betty for her willingness to share her experience.

Run. Hide. Fight YouTube Video Copyright © 2012 City of Houston.

Interested in learning more about how to survive a mass shooting?  I’ve included a few links below to well written articles and websites

US Department of Homeland Security Active Shooter Preparedness

Knoxville Mercury

Wiki How to Survive a School or Workplace Shooting