Protect Yourself from Active Shooters Part 1
The places we go to feel safe, our schools and colleges where we discover who we are, learn and grow, face threats that are an unfortunate part of reality. Here are the top 5 ways to protect yourself from school shootings.
Be aware of your environment and any possible dangers. Know who is around you. Even if you’re not great friends with everyone, be conscious of how your peers are doing emotionally. If you feel the sense that someone might seriously be a threat to themselves or others, say something. Alert your professors, your advisor, your dorm RA, or a campus authority of anything that looks out of place. They should have access to training and materials to help them evaluate and help prevent things from getting worse.
If it seems like someone is having a hard time, reach out and offer comfort or guide them to find professional help. This act of communication can literally be the difference between life and death. For your safety and the safety of others, know where and how to access your campus mental health services. Violence that can lead to a school shooting, whether toward the self or others, often stems from feelings of isolation and hopelessness. Helping foster a stronger sense of community can help mitigate those feelings.
3. Drill Yourself
Ask and get familiar about active shooter plans at your school, workplace and place of worship. Run though worst-case scenarios in your head in all confined spaces or populated areas. Take note of the two closest exits in any facility you visit. You can even do some practice scenarios at home so that you know what to do. Save emergency phone numbers on quick dial in your phone. Find out if your city participates in text-to-911.
4. Learn First Aid
Sign up for active shooter drill, first aid and tourniquet training. There are free active shooter programs that can also help you prepare for and protect yourself from school shootings.
5. Use Personal Protection Equipment
You can purchase backpack body armor panels that can easily fit inside any existing backpack that you have. Caliber Armor panels only weigh one pound or less and can be moved from one backpack to another when you change the style or when it is worn out. These panels protect against the most common threats that you will encounter. They can stop shots from handguns up to a .44 magnum. These IIIA/HG2 soft armor panels will not protect you from rifles. Rifle rated panels also protect you from school shootings but are heavier and more difficult to conceal.
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