Run. Hide. Fight.®
Last Saturday was the two-year anniversary of the release of “Run. Hide. Fight.®” The video has been used around the world to help teach members of the public how to respond during an active shooter situation. In this edition of the ready Houston blog, we’ll talk about the video itself, describe some steps you can take to help keep your workplace secure, and provide options on training for companies that choose to use Run. Hide. Fight.® in their workplace.
To begin, let’s review the three steps:
- Run The best course of action to take during an active shooter event is to try to leave the area. If you can, try and take others with you, but do not let yourself get held back by those that are unwilling to leave. When you exit the building, try and keep others from entering, and move to a safe area. Once you are safe, call 9-1-1. Provide dispatchers with the location of the emergency, and try and answer their questions to the best of your ability.
- Hide If you are unable to escape, conceal yourself. If you can, close yourself in a room or closet. Lock the door and turn off the lights. Try and barricade the door with heavy objects. Remember to turn off your cell phone; even vibrate mode makes noise that can give away your location. Wait for help to arrive.
- Fight If you are faced with the shooter and have no other option, do your best to defend yourself and others. You may need to improvise weapons with items that are around you, such as fire extinguishers, chairs, or small appliances. Use the element of surprise to your advantage; hide to the side of the door or behind a large object. Fight with purpose, and make your actions count.
Protecting your workplace
There are several steps that can be taken to help secure your workplace against acts of violence and other crimes. The first is to restrict access only to employees and authorized visitors. Make sure exterior doors are locked from the outside, and mark those entrances as “Authorized Personnel Only.” Never let people in staff-only entrances who you do not recognize. Instead, redirect them to the public or visitor entrance. This helps your building’s staff register visitors that come to your workplace, and helps maintain accountability of who is in the building at any given time. Employees should also wear their company ID cards in a visible location. Visitors should also be provided with IDs, preferably ones that have an obvious expiration date. This helps employees determine who is supposed to be in the building and who is not. When making visitor badges, consider putting a building evacuation map or emergency instructions on the back side; visitors may not be familiar with your workplace’s emergency procedures and this can help them in the event of any emergency. And as always, if you see anyone who is not where they should be, notify building security.
More tips on securing your workplace can be found in the Ready Houston program’s Make the Call video and training. While focused on terrorism prevention, the guidance in this program can also be used to prevent other workplace crimes. The videos can be downloaded from www.iwatchhouston.org, and you can contact the Ready Houston program for information on providing Make the Call training to your employees.
Currently, the Ready Houston program does not offer an “official” Run. Hide. Fight.® training program. However, many law enforcement agencies across the country are now providing this training, using the Run. Hide. Fight.® video along with information that is specific to their jurisdiction. This method also allows the local law enforcement agency to customize training for a particular facility or audience. Contact your local law enforcement agency to see if they offer active shooter training.
If you are developing an active shooter training program for your workplace, you might want to consider the following. Be sure that the training you provide matches your company’s policies and procedures. While “Run. Hide. Fight.®” is guidance, your company still needs to develop policies and procedures of its own for employees to follow. If you do not have emergency procedures, develop them before the training is delivered. Also, provide your employees with practical information about your workplace, including the location of fire exits and stairwells, which doors can be locked and which ones cannot, and pre-determined meeting points outside the building. Finally, be sure to talk with your local emergency responders. They can provide you with the best information on how they will respond in the event of an active shooter incident, and what they want the building occupants to do in that situation.
Where to get copies
The Run. Hide. Fight.® video is available at the Ready Houston website, where it can be viewed on YouTube or downloaded in MP4 and WMV formats. The video is also available on the Are You Ready? DVD set, which also contains films on emergency preparedness and terrorism prevention. If you are planning on using the film for training or distributing multiple copies, please contact our office.
While grant funding was used for the video, the City of Houston maintains a copyright on the Run. Hide. Fight.® video. You cannot edit the video, copy the script, or use the video to make a profit. Feel free to contact our office with any questions.