Terrorist Attack—Orlando – Tips That May Save Your Life
Early Sunday morning, June 12, 2016, Orlando Florida went into the history books as the site of the worst mass shooting ever in the United States. The carnage count was horrific—49 killed and another 53 wounded once the bloodbath ended inside of a popular gay nightclub. Reports indicate this was a terrorist attack.
For the family and friends of those victims inside, I cannot imagine the pain and grief in having to wait all those hours in hopes of learning that their loved one somehow survived, or receiving the most dreadful notification of death. America’s hearts, along with millions of people across the world, are filled with our deepest heartfelt sympathy.
Every American must be alert to the possibility of such Terrorist Attacks and similar atrocities and give thought to how you should react if confronted with such a horrifying act. Here’s a brief overview of what I do know: Since January 2015, there have been twenty-two (22) attacks or plots in the U.S., and of those—eighteen have been confirmed to have ISIS Terrorist Attack connections. While I am not an anti-terrorism expert, my experiences in preparing emergency plans and dealing with riots for the private sector, and spending years in law enforcement have taught me that Americans cannot ignore the threat of future attacks; sadly anywhere large crowds gather will likely become the terrorist’s priority target. Be assured, the Orlando Massacre will not be anywhere near close to the end of these assaults.
Active Shooter—Lessons Learned:
According to the FBI, between 2000 and 2013, 486 people were killed in active shooter events. An additional 557 were wounded. Note: This data does NOT include those recent events such as San Bernardinocand Orlando. As bad as these vicious assaults are, there are things to be learned to help the average person survive:
One clear message that we are learning is that active shooter incidents are increasing. These shooting incidents can happen anywhere. Don’t be complacent and think, “It can’t happen here.” We are all vulnerable!
Don’t ignore warning signs. Remain vigilant and report your suspicions. Allegedly, neighbors were aware of ongoing suspicious activities at the San Bernardino shooters’ house, but did not report them to authorities out of concern for “politically correct” issues. To make matters even worse, rumors are rampant that the wife of the Orlando shooter allegedly knew of her husband’s deadly plans and did nothing to report or stop him. At his very moment, a Grand Jury is considering the evidence to determine the validity of those statements.
In event you are caught up in an active shooter situation, there are four (4) things you can do to make a difference. Yes, your actions can make a difference:
-Be aware of your surroundings and any potential dangers;
-Visually identify the locations of the two closest exits in any location you visit.
-Have your escape route in mind. If it is at all practical … flee;
-Leave your belongings behind;
-Encourage others to follow, but don’t let them slow you down. (A moving target is harder to hit than a stationary one.)
-If you are in an office or other area, and unable to get out safely, hide and lock and using anything heavy, barricade the door, but do so wisely;
-Call 911 when it is safe to do so. Provide shooter’s location; Number of shooters; Description of shooter(s); Number and type of weapons shooter is using; Number of potential victims at the location. If you feel talking is unsafe, leave phone line open;
-Turn off lights and silence your cell phone and/or pager.
-As a last resort, Fight, but ONLY when your life is in imminent danger. Once your decision to fight is made, there must be no hesitation. Fight as if your life depends on it–which it does;
-Attempt to incapacitate the active shooter. Attack with physical aggression. This may mean using whatever objects (fire extinguisher (for spraying or head-bashing or both); chairs; tools; desk objects; or even heavy books, etc.) are available to immobilized the active shooter.
MOST IMPORTANTLY, CONSIDER VIEWING THE VIDEO BELOW. (It’s not gory; you don’t see any blood, but you do see scenes of people (actors) falling after being shot.) This video was produced by the city of Houston, Texas and Department of Homeland Security.
Active Shooter situations will differ from location to location. Things will differ in areas such as a mall, office building, warehouse, school or restaurant/night club, or public gathering place.
Remember; Run when it’s safe to run. Hide where it’s safe to hide. Fight if you or others around you are out of options.
Bottom line, you have to make your own decision if confronted with an Active Shooter or Terrorist Attack situation. Hopefully, you will never be faced with such a nightmare, but if you are, I hope you will find these few tips helpful and possibly lifesaving.