How to survive an Active Shooter Situation in an Airport
How to survive an Active Shooter Situation in an AirportHow to survive an Active Shooter Situation in an Airport

How to survive an Active Shooter Situation in an Airport

The recent incident at the Fort Lauderdale airport shows that an active shooting really can happen anywhere and anytime, whether you are in a big city or not. Knowing what to do in an active shooting situation can be the difference in saving your life.

Stay Alert

This might potentially be the most important step here, as it can possibly keep you out of an active shooting before it begins or help you to stop one before it happens. When you are at the airport be mindful of your surroundings at all times. Spot something suspicious? Tell security immediately. Large groups of people are prime targets for active shooters, so stay away from places where large groups gather such as kiosks, ticket counters, or the food courts. Also, get through the security checkpoint ASAP. A shooting is more likely to occur before a security checkpoint.

Run and Hide

The moment you realize there is an active shooter incident, be prepared to run and/or hide. Don’t panic. Your first instinct should be to run away from the situation. Do not follow the crowds running around. Instead, try to find a quiet place, such as a restroom, and move away from the commotion. Airports, unlike hotels, don’t have evacuation points because they are supposed to be secure, so it’s not easy to get out. Your best bet is to find a way to stay safe within the airport.
If running is not possible, find a hiding place. This can be the nearest space in which you can lock and/or barricade the door and take cover behind heavy objects. If there is no room or space readily available, hide behind or under a large objects, or a dark space that would be difficult in which to identify a target for a shooter. Keep in mind that if you are hiding, you may need to move to a new space is the threat gets closer and that you may also end up fighting.

Should you fight?

Some articles will tell you to fight. Don’t. Unless you are bulletproof this is not advised.

Where to learn More

The Department of Homeland security has a great online booklet with more info on surviving an active shooting. Next time you are at the airport stay alert. While the chances of an active shooting are slim it is always best to be prepared in case of an emergency.

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