What to tell friends about surviving an active shooter

A friend of mine (not in the tactical community) sent me this link to the active shooter response page of Idaho State University, meant for faculty and students, and asked what I thought.  Here’s my response:


Not bad, but a lot to remember. 

I’d teach it as two top-level things to remember:

1) Where is the bad guy(s)?
2) Where is safety given 1) above?

If you don’t hear gunshots than the bad guy is probably far away and flight to a known safe location is advisable.

If you hear gun shots, then also flee to safety if a path away from the shooter seems open.  I strongly advise breaking windows and fleeing rather than staying in place.  If no path to safety seems available, then barricade and shelter away from sight.  Remember though, that all glass can be broken so most rooms aren’t really safe.  You have to be prepared to fight, ambushing the shooter if possible.

I’d also strongly advise that where ever you are frequently – classroom, buildings, etc, – that you notice and game out where paths to safety are.  Takes no time and is interesting, and may save your life!

Lastly, have or stay aware of improvised weapons if you have to fight/ambush. 


All I’d add now is that surviving these events, like anything in life itself, is probabilistic.  Also like almost everything else in life, preparation and determination increase your odds of success greatly.  Some people are built like that and some aren’t.

3 thoughts on “What to tell friends about surviving an active shooter

  1. How about telling your friend to carry a gun including reloads and train FoF?

    Sep 1, 2014 – In Idaho, under a new state law, nearly 3000 residents with enhanced concealed carry permits can bring their guns on college campuses.


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