Sad Reminder: Fairfax County Offering Tips to Stay Safe in an Active Shooting

After two mass shootings in the last week, Fairfax County Government has embarked on a public awareness campaign on what to do if you are part of a mass shooting situation.

On Wednesday, 14 people were killed and many more injured when two shooters — a husband and wife —  opened fire in a county government building in San Bernardino, Calif. Last Friday, three people, including a police officer, were killed in a shooting at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs, Colo.

San Bernardino was the 355th mass shooting this year, says The Washington Post.

“Just like in any other emergency situation, the best thing you can do is to be prepared with information on what to do next,” says Fairfax County materials.

“Whether it’s an incident like Wednesday’s shooting in San Bernardino, Calif., or you are in the checkout line at the mall or drafting an email in your cubicle — what would you do if you heard gun shots and realized an active shooter was nearby?”

FCPD says remember the words “Run/Hide/Fight” to get you through.

Run:

If there is an escape route, attempt to evacuate.
Leave your belongings behind.
Follow instructions of responding emergency personnel.

Hide:

Hide in an area out of the active shooter’s view.
Block entry to your hiding place and lock the doors.
Send a text message to 9-1-1 if you’re able, but ensure your safety first.

Fight:

As a last resort and only when life is in imminent danger.
Attempt to incapacitate the active shooter.
Act with physical aggression and throw items at the active shooter.

Police also say when calling 911, here is info to provide:

  • Location of the active shooter.
  • Number of shooters.
  • Physical description of shooters.
  • Number and type of weapons shooter has.
  • Number of potential victims at location.

When You Are in a Safe Place:

  • Remain calm and follow instructions.
  • Raise hands and spread fingers.
  • Keep hands visible at all times.
  • Avoid making quick movements toward officers such as attempting to hold on to them for safety.
  • Avoid pointing, screaming and/or yelling.

See more Run/Hide/Fight resources on Fairfax County Government’s website.

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