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What Experts Say You Should Do If There's An Attack

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Every day we here about another shooting, a bombing, a hit and run. Every day the numbers of people killed add up and our thought of "it can't happen to me" gets a little bit harder to believe. Bad things do happen. Not just to criminals, not just to people overseas, but rather than hoping it doesn't happen to you, prepare yourself to be ready in case it does.

The internet is obviously a treasure trove of information, and we've compiled advice from experts on how to stay safe during workplace/school shootings and/or a knife attack.

How To Protect Yourself During A Shooting

Mass shootings are an all-too-familiar occurrence in this day and age. If a gunman enters your place of work or a public space you're in trouble, but your chances of getting out of that situation alive are a lot better if you listen to the advice of Matthew Perks and Thomas Nestel. They both work in law enforcement in Pennsylvania and sat down with LifeHacker to explain how to best survive a mass shooting.

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I'll outline a few of the key points, but you can read the entire interview here.

First and foremost they say to keep a calm mind. It can be hectic when the bullets start to fly, and your adrenaline will make your body want to run far ahead of your brain. Keep your wits about you and don't panic.

That said, listen to your body - run! They say a simple rule in any attack is to follow the basic principle: run, hide, fight.


If you're in a familiar place chances are you know the exits. If an attacker has entered the building flee as fast as possible, from whatever exit is farthest away from the attacker. Encourage others to come with you, but only if they do so immediately - don't wait around!

"Running if you have a clear exit is the best choice," says Nestel. "Don't worry about your stuff, just drop it and leave it behind. If you can see the shooter he can see you, crouch down and run as fast as possible."

He says many people think they should call 911 immediately, that's a mistake.

"Keep running until you reach a place of safety. Then call 911," he said.


Sometimes there's no way out, at least no safe way out. Hiding doesn't have to be complicated. Most shootings don't last longer than a couple minutes, so a long as you're out of the shooters line of sight you'll be much safer than if you just dropped to the ground. Hide under tables, behind desks or doors. School kids are taught to lock themselves in rooms and that's one of the safest plans of action. If you can't lock a door make sure to barricade it, or at least make it harder to open. Don't leave until safety comes to find you.


Both experts say that fighting should be the very last thing on your mind, and is the only course of action if you have no other options. If you absolutely have to fight then try to do it with others.

"There's safety in numbers," Nestel says and mentioned that you'll see this happen most often on airplanes when there's a passenger causing a stir. Although another successful example was the shooting of Democratic Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords. A gunman shot her in the head and shot 18 more people before stopping to reload, while in the process he was swarmed by the crowd.


If you're armed you may think that you can kill an attacker, but the experts say that you should still follow the "Run, Hide, Fight" philosophy. They say you pose a danger to yourself because police will be responding quickly and will attempt to neutralize anyone that is armed.

For Tips On How To Survive A Knife Attack Click To The Next Page

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