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Top Survival Tips And Strategies When Facing An Armed Shooter

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Being prepared by knowing the top survival tips and strategies for escaping when facing an armed shooter gives you a much better chance of surviving then simply hoping you do the right thing during a chaotic moment when everyone around you is in full panic mode.

A Dangerous World

There is no doubt we live in an increasingly dangerous world wtih easy access to firearms and bomb making supplies.

A gun on a stand.

The number of mass shootings, especially school shootings, taking place continues to increase on a regular basis.

The debate on how to best handle the situation is a hot topic for sure with some calling for a complete ban on guns, others wanting stricter gun control and some that want nothing to change, but the truth is something has to give.

The matter is very complex and while I do not believe a ban on guns is going to solve what is a moral problem with society today, I do recognize there is a huge problem.

Random Shootings

Random shootings aren’t just limited to schools, although those are the ones you hear the most about.

Workplace shootings are common as are mass shootings at concerts, movies and other places where people gather.

Riots are another place shootings take place and practice your escape plan ahead of time is just as important as knowing how to escape an active shooter situation.

Terrorists aren’t always foreign either.

In fact many are born and raised right here in the United States of America.

What To Expect In A Random Shooting

The situation is always the same regardless of where the shooting takes place.

Bullets are rapidly sprayed into a crowd of people with the intent to cause as much loss of human life as possible.

This is one of the most chaotic situations anyone could ever be in and there is no room for error.

This is why it is so important for everyone to know the tips below and react immediately should you find yourself in an active shooter situation.


The first thing you should do is escape.

Never try to lock yourself in a room, a broom closet or locker and hope that the shooter will not find you.

Even if the door is locked, bullets can be sprayed into the door and kill you.

Always look for an emergency exit and if possible know where those emergency exits are well in advance.

However, do not throw yourself through a glass window in an attempt to escape.

This is not the movies.

You might end up slashing your own throat on the glass shards while jumping out.

Instead, use a chair to smash the glass first and then jump out however be sure you are not jumping out of a window that is too far above ground.

Where Are The Gunshots Coming From?

Shootings escalate very fast.

The shooter will keep proceeding forward as long as people are dropping like flies.

Your goal is to make a dash in a 90-degree angle away from the line of fire.

Just make sure there is an exit you can use to escape and be sure you are not cornered.

Plan Of Action

As mentioned, the most important thing is to run away.

Do not try to be heroic and take the shooter down if you’re far away from the shooter because it is likely you are going to get shot before you can reach the shooter.

If there is nowhere to run, find a place to hide that is not obvious such as a dark area of the building or room.

Shooters need well-lit spots to hit their targets.

Under Fire

If the shooter tries shooting at you when you are escaping, run in a zig zag manner that is unpredictable.

It will make it harder for the shooter to hit you.

Most of the time, shooters don’t bother to chase those running away because it is tiring to run with a weapon.

They are not usually trained soldiers, so running is your best course of action.

Playing Dead

If you have no choice and nowhere to go, lie on your belly and play dead.

If there is blood around you, roll in it and get some on yourself.

It doesn’t sound appealing, but it could save your life.

If there are piles of bodies, pull one on top of you, if possible.

Breathe as shallow as possible and try to let your body go limp.

If the shooter prods you with his feet to check whether you are dead, your body will feel lifeless.

Once you get in this position, never look up to check where the shooter has gone.

The shooter may be cowering in the in the same room as you because law enforcement has the building surrounded.

This means any movement from you may be noticed immediately.

Remain in the play dead position until law enforcement arrives and takes down the shooter.

Only do this as the last resort, if there is no other way out,  because the shooter could always try to fire bullets into you just to make sure you are dead.

Final Thoughts

One other thing you can do, but might not want to take the time to do, is fill a backpack or briefcase with four large textbooks and use it to shield your body from gunfire.

Finally, be sure to practice your escape plan ahead of time if you need to so there is no second guessing what you are going to do should a chaotic situation arise.

Staying calm and sticking to a plan of action during an active shooter situation is not easy but it truly is the best way to survive.

I highly recommend the following articles:

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The top photo is a gun resting on a stand. The bottom photo shows someone holding a handgun.




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