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A mass shooting is terrifying. It can happen to anyone at any time, and it’s something no one is prepared to deal with. But there are steps you can take to protect yourself against the next mass shooting.

Mass shootings have happened all too frequently in America in recent years. Shootings like this are terrifying because they can happen so quickly, and most of us aren’t prepared for that kind of emergency situation. Here’s how you can protect yourself against the next mass shooting.


To survive an active shooter situation, first thing you need to do is RUN.

If you see a path to a safer area, then get out.

  1. Be aware of your surroundings.
  2. Have an exit plan.
  3. Move away from the threat.
  4. Create as much distance between you and the threat.

Hide: if escape is not possible from the active shooter

If you can’t evacuate, find a place to hide out.

  1. Create distance between you and the threat.
  2. Turn off the lights and silence your phones.
  3. Remain out of sight by hiding behind barriers large objects.
  4. Remain quiet.

Fight the shooter only as a last resport

As a last resort, if you can’t hide and there are absolutely no other options, confront the active shooter.

  1. If there are others, get them involved too.
  2. Be aggressive, yell, and commit to your actions.
  3. Do not fight fairly – Throw items and use improvised weapons.
  4. Survive by any means necessary. Your life will depend on it.

Have an emergency plan

Take note of your exits during an active shooter situation
Take note of your exits

The best way to protect yourself against the next mass shooting is to have an emergency plan. This includes having an escape route and knowing what to do if you ever get caught in the middle of a dangerous situation.

What should you do if a gunman enters your building? What if there’s an explosion at the subway station? And how do you protect yourself if there’s an active shooter on campus?

These are only a few of the terrifying what-if scenarios a person might face in an emergency situation. If you have a plan for each scenario, you can be prepared for anything and help keep yourself and the people around you safe.

Learn self-defense techniques

Children taking a self defense class, they may also confront an active shooter.
Even kids should learn some self defense techniques

Carrying a weapon is illegal in many places, but learning self-defense is legal in all 50 states. If you’re living in an area where there’s a high chance of a mass shooting, you should consider taking some self-defense classes.

Most places offer self-defense courses for both kids and adults. But even if you have kids, you should still enroll in a self-defense class. Kids are more likely to be at home or in school during a mass shooting, so they may not be as affected. But there are plenty of options for adults, too. There are even self-defense workshops designed for women. For the best chance at protecting yourself in a dangerous situation, you need to be prepared.

Don’t forget: You are not alone

Group therapy session helping survivors of an active shooter

Mass shootings are terrifying, but they are not common. You are not alone, and there are people who want to help you.

There are crisis hotlines you can call to speak with someone who understands what you’re going through. There are therapists who can help you process your feelings and work through your trauma. And there are support groups you can join to be surrounded by people who want to help you heal. There are resources available online, too.

If you feel like you need extra help protecting yourself against the next mass shooting, take advantage of what’s out there. If you know when and how to protect yourself, you’re more likely to survive an attack in your community.

Additional Resources:

US Dept of Homeland Security


FBI Video: Run, Hide, Fight

Situational Awareness and How to Develop It

If you found yourself in an active shooter situation, what else are you pre-determined to do?

About Post Author


During the day, Ms. Williams is a compliance officer for a major insurance agency in Florida. In her free time she enjoys the great outdoors and share her passion for the adventures life has to offer. She now shares her passion for Emergency Preparedness, making it simple for everyone to start.
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