How Technology Helps in an Active Shooter Situation
Active shooter situations are a common occurrence in today’s society. These situations can affect areas of schools, businesses, and even shopping malls. In such a situation, it is necessary that the people who are trapped inside know their surroundings and how to get out safely. Technology has helped in giving people better situational awareness by equipping them with devices and apps which can help them navigate safely through an active shooter situation. Whether you are a security professional working in an organization dealing with multiple active shooter situations daily or someone living in one of these unfortunate places, here are some useful tips for you.
Stay updated on the situation
Stay updated on the situation. There are many ways to stay updated on the events happening in your surroundings. You can simply use an app like Google Maps or Waze to get a more accurate idea of what is happening around you and know where to go once the situation gets worse. If you are using a device, make sure it has GPS enabled on it so that you can track your current location. This way, even if you are unable to communicate with others during the event, you will be able to see what’s happening outside clearly. These apps will allow you to share your location with loved ones so they will know that you are safe
Know your surroundings
Know your surroundings and understand the layout of your building or mall. This will help you know where to go in case of an emergency. If you are trapped in a building, it is important to be able to distinguish what’s happening outside from inside the building. It is also useful to know exits and fire exits from inside the building.
Be aware of your surroundings
Since people are often not aware of what is happening around them in a crisis, it is important that they are able to be aware of their surroundings. This can be done by utilizing technology. For instance, if you have the ability to use a camera on your phone, you should turn it on and record the situation so that you can watch or re-watch it later. You also need to know how to use the GPS on your phone while being in an active shooter situation so that you can tell if you’re going in circles or ending up at various locations.
Track your location and speed
Technology like Google Maps or GPS can help you track your location and speed while navigating through an active shooter situation. Knowing the location of the nearest exit is vital when trying to escape safely.
Plan an escape route
It is important that as soon as you hear any gunshots or see anything unusual, you start planning an escape route. It is also important to take the time to find out the closest exits and hide spots. Oftentimes, people will panic and not know where to run or what to do in these situations. With the help of technology, you can pull up a map or show your location on a navigation system which will give you the best chance of escaping safely.
Avoid blind spots and hide-aways
The first and most important thing to do in an active shooter situation is to avoid the blind spots. The blind spots are the areas of the building which you cannot see because there are too many obstacles. As you move around the building, keep your eyes closed and look for objects which can break your fall if you happen to jump or trip over something. If necessary, try turning yourself into a human shield and hide behind a wall or in a corner. This is especially useful when escorting or rescuing hostages who might be being held by the shooter. The second tip is to know where all of the hiding places are in case you need to escape quickly. In the case of an active shooter situation, it is very likely that someone will be holding hostages or will have taken them captive inside the building. In such a scenario, knowing where these victims are located will help you get them out of danger’s way quickly and efficiently. Be sure to survey each room carefully before proceeding through it so that you know where everything is located and can find a safe exit quickly if needed.
Wrapping up: Bottom line
Technology has helped in giving people better situational awareness, which in turn helps them navigate through an active shooter situation and get out safely.