Surviving a Gun Attack or Shot
It's unfortunate, but there will always be bad people around. Bad people who are trying to do bad things to good people. If you're ever facing a situation with a shooter going on a rampage, how are you supposed to know what to do? Today, our team of APE Survival expert's will cover our strategies for effectively facing an opponent with a gun, so you're always prepared.
Understand and react The hardest thing to overcome when you're being shot at is the initial panic. In an emergency your brains ‘fight or flight’ mode will kick in, and unfortunately this means many people simply freeze - unable to deal with a situation they have never prepared for (or even considered could happen to them). The first step is to understand the situation you're in. When you hear gunshots, stop and think. If you're in a downtown shopping mall this is probably a very bad sign, but in a hunters cabin in the woods it's obviously less of a concern unless they're shooting directly at you. Now take a quick look at your surroundings to determine where the shots are coming from, and the options you have to escape. Always knowing an alternative way to exit a building is a critical survival skill, and you should always be using your situational awareness to seek out these escape routes, before you need them. Think about it right now. If a shooter was to walk in the front door of the building you're in, where would you go? Now what happens if they're standing between you and the only exit? Even just thinking about these contingencies beforehand can give you an edge should anything happen, and will help you quickly overcome any initial panic in a disaster scenario which you need to escape.
Escape the situation You've got only a split second to decide if it's safer to run or to hide. Generally, your best option is to run, and if you've got the chance drop everything and get yourself as far from the shooter as quickly as possible. Fight any of the initial fear you have and just get your legs moving. If you've dropped your cell phone or left your handbag, forget it. Going back can be a fatal mistake, and your life is worth far more than whatever is tucked in your backpack. When you're running, you will pass others who have stopped frozen in fear. Grab them, and encourage them to run with you. You'll be helping them out of a potentially lethal situation, and on a completely selfish note a larger group makes you less of an individual target if you come face to face with the shooter, or need to quickly fortify a hiding place. You've got strength in numbers. If you're running alone and the shooter is firing at you, move in a zigzag pattern to make it difficult to sight you as a target. Crouching low and running sideways can also help to minimize yourself as a potential target, but just make sure this running style doesn't disorientate you, or make you slower in escaping the shooter - sometimes a good hard sprint is a better choice, but this ultimately depends on you and the environment you are in.
When running isn't an option Runners have the highest chance of surviving a shooting, but if this isn't possible, perhaps you're a teacher responsible for a group of kids, or the shooter is too close to be able to run without getting shot, quickly find somewhere you can barricade yourself in to hide. Hiding is your priority, but if you have time, take steps to secure the room. These situations are usually resolved in minutes, so if you can buy yourself just a little bit of time by barricading the main entry points, it may be enough to keep you alive until the authorities arrive. Duck into a room you can lock, using the doorstop, desks, or whatever you can find to reinforce the door and make it too difficult for the shooter to enter. Turn off all the lights, because in the darkness the shooter may bypass the room you're in completely thinking it empty. If you're with a group, quickly assign tasks as you have one person blocking the door, another on the phone calling 911, and another scouting for any weapons you can use to fight back in the worst case scenario. If the shooter approaches the room you're in, get away from any windows as well as the door. The bullets can easily penetrate these, and if the shooter can see you, they can also fire at you. When you're hiding don't forget that bullets have a huge amount of force behind them, and crouching behind a desk or underneath a table isn't going to protect you. You're better off tucked behind a concrete post, or somewhere out of sight so you're not immediately apparent. Stay as low to the ground as possible, and try to keep calm. Whimpering and crying isn't going to help, and it only increases the chance you'll be discovered where you're hiding. After you've called 911 put your phone on silent, and start mentally preparing yourself for what may happen if the shooter finds you before the police arrive.
Waiting for the police In most cases, once you're barricaded yourself in a dark room, you just need to sit tight and wait for the police to arrive and resolve the situation. When they do turn up, remember they are going to be on edge, so don't run into their arms to thank the officers - they may mistake you for a threat. Stay calm, and do exactly what the officers tell you to do. The faster you comply makes the entire situation run smoother, and if they ask you what you saw just make sure you tell them everything as quickly as possible.
Fighting for your life If it comes down to it and the shooter discovers your hiding place, it's time to fight for your life with every ounce of strength you have. You're literally fighting for your life, so grab scissors, a pen, anything glass, even a fire extinguisher can be used as a weapon to inflict blunt force trauma. Whatever you have that enables you to regain control of the situation - use it. Remember, that right now you're not facing a rational person, you're squaring off against a shooter who is on a rampage, so don't try to reason with them or plead for your life. Attack as hard and as fast as you can. If you're in a group, use your numbers to overwhelm the shooter, coordinating your attack to give your side the upper hand. The strength you have in numbers makes it more likely you will survive, so try not to think about getting shot. The reality is that you may take a bullet, but most people with a gunshot wound actually survive. Hesitating at this stage is your biggest risk because it gives the shooter chance to take a better aim, so hit hard, fast, aiming for their face, neck, and hands. You need to be like a wild animal, putting everything you have into fighting for your life and getting control of the gun your attacker is wielding. This really is your last chance to survive, so put all of yourself into it. Hopefully you never experience a situation where you're facing a shooter who is trying to kill you, but following these steps will help to keep you alive, and survive until the police arrive. No matter what you do when you're facing certain death, don't let panic take control - do something, anything - and you'll significantly increase the chances you will survive