Surviving a Mass Shooting: Resources and Safety Tips
Surviving a Mass Shooting: Resources and Safety Tips

Surviving a Mass Shooting: Resources and Safety Tips

This past week the nation has been in shock over the mass shooting that occurred in Las Vegas at an outdoor concert. At least 59 people were killed and more than 500 were hurt. This blog will cover mass shooting safety resources and tips that could make the difference in a survival situation.


• Over 80 percent of active shooter incidents occur at work.
• Before the attack in Las Vegas the Orlando attack was by far the deadliest shooting in U.S. history (49 killed), and it is not even 10 years removed from the 2007 Virginia Tech massacre (32 killed), and the 2012 Sandy Hook shooting (27 killed). In fact, of the 30 deadliest shootings in the U.S. dating back to 1949, 16 have occurred in the last 10 years.
• Only six mass shooting incidents have involved a female shooter.
• Forty percent of the shooters from all incidents committed suicide at the scene or shortly thereafter.
• Sixty-nine percent of the incidents ended in five minutes or less, and nearly half ended in two minutes or less. Sixty percent of the incidents ended before police arrived.

Safety Resources

– The Department of Homeland Security has created a pocket guide that provides information related to response to an active shooter situation. This guide includes information on profile and characteristics, coping, and how to respond during and after the situation.

RUN. FIGHT. HIDE: Surviving an active shooter incident. This video goes over the different aspects of a mass shooting, and how to try to survive an attack.

Survival Tips

Have an Escape Plan

This will most likely be your 1st and best option.  In an active shooter situation, the first thing you need to do is get away from the scene ASAP. Ideally, you will take the time upon arrival to your event location to identify all possible exits (you will want to alert anyone else in your group as well). If you can safely make your way to an exit, do so without hesitation. Stay as low as possible to the ground to make yourself as small a target as possible.

Find Cover if Escape is not an Option

If you can’t safely remove yourself from the situation (due to injury for example), the next best option is to take cover. On the street there are many more options compared to the inside of a building. The best cover is usually a dumpster or a wooden telephone pole. If you can’t make it out, generally the best place to take cover is inside or behind something that will shield you completely from view (such as a stairwell).

Fight as a Last Resort

Fleeing the scene may not be an option. If you or a group are inside a building with an active shooter and can’t get away you may have to fight back to survive (this is a last resort, escape should always be plan A). Only proper self–defense or firearms training can prepare you for this type of scenario however.

Please click the links to these government websites for more resources and info regarding mass shootings.


Department of Homeland Security

Leave a Comment