In my last job we had not just fire drills, but armed shooter drills and what we were to do if there was ever such a situation in our huge tower of an office building. These days as we all know it’s more and more common — in offices and in schools. Scary, yet necessary, yet scary again how necessary it seems.
I know that living in a large city, I try to be aware of my surroundings more regularly and don’t always have music on or even headphones on so people know I’m alert too. Never traveling in heels unless I know I can run in them. Always ensuring the emergency items I need are within reach. It may seem ridiculous, but that’s the world we are in now…isn’t it?
Last week, I was commuting to work on the subway (the one place I always try to be most alert), and about 1/4 of the way through before I hit my transfer station, the doors to subway car opened, and a rush of people come running through yelling “gun”, “knife”, “guy with gun and knife”, “run”, “keep running” !!!! Within half a second it all registered and I knew the only answer in that situation with no where to hide, and reason to fight this individual, the best solution was to run, and keep running until we could get off the train at the next stop (which was my transfer station). The hardest part was the trampling, and the folks mainly caring for themselves. I had to help a woman up. One woman and I helped each other jump between cars and ensured we didn’t fall. Thank goodness for folks like that. Once we we got off the station, and saw folks trying to get on, we yelled “don’t get on, man with gun/knife” and hoped to goodness they listened. I couldn’t find a policeman and ran up the stairs toward my next train and found an employee on duty. Not knowing where this person could be now, I quickly told him what happened, and ran to my next train so I could get out of there as fast as possible.
Although I didn’t see the person, it was definitely surreal, made me a bit shaky, and made me realize, that anything can happen anywhere, to anyone. After the day was over, although I know I will be even more alert now (with all that can really do), I felt stronger in some way. I hadn’t frozen, I hadn’t sat there wondering what to do. I listened to my gut, and got the hell out of there as fast as possible, and while helping others do the same.
Every situation is different but when it comes to a shooter I’ve been told the best solutions are to flee if you can, hide if you can’t, and only fight if you have no other scenario.
To each of us, stay alert, stay safe, and don’t worry about it until or unless you ever have to. We can’t live our lives in worry. We have to live our lives and #radiatedaily.
image source – pixabay