48 Investigates: What to do during an active shooter situation - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

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48 Investigates: What to do during an active shooter situation

If you find yourself in an active shooter situation there are three very simple words you need to remember: run, hide, fight. (Source: Ready Houston YouTube) If you find yourself in an active shooter situation there are three very simple words you need to remember: run, hide, fight. (Source: Ready Houston YouTube)
HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) -

If you find yourself in an active shooter situation there are three very simple words you need to remember: run, hide, fight.

The combination of these words during an active shooter situation could mean the difference between life and death.

Huntsville Police provided a video simulation depicting an active shooter situation.

In the video simulation, we see a man wearing all black leather, sunglasses and a backpack enter a building. Lt. Stacy Bates with the Huntsville Police Department would tell you this guy's appearance should be a major red flag as he enters the building.

Even though the training video is a bit dramatic, your eyes are drawn to him.

You have to be aware of your surroundings.

"It's all about knowing your situation, who's around you, watching the demeanor and attitude of people around you and having a plan in place," said Bates.

If you see someone suspicious, it is important to remember the three words from earlier. Your best option in a situation like this is to run.

That means pre-determining where those exits are and how best to get there quickly and safely.

When we asked Bates what to do if a co-worker is set on staying in the room even though you are trying to get them to run away, he said you have to ask yourself, 'Is it worth me spending that time?'.

The answer is no.

Get out and call 911 as quick as possible. You also need to stop other people from going inside.

If you can't run, Bates said your next best option is to hide.

Preferably hide in a room where you can not only lock the door, turn off the lights and your cell phone, but barricade yourself.

Use whatever you can find to block the shooter from getting through the door. You can you a desk, chairs, filing cabinets, really anything in the room. This will buy you more time and make it more difficult on the shooter.

"They're going to take the path of least resistance. If you can make it harder for them to get to you, they're going to keep moving," said Bates.

If options one and two fail, your least best option is to fight.

You can use anything around you to fight, such as a fire extinguisher, laptop, cell phone or a chair.

"Anything you can use to throw at that person to get that person off their game, for them to actively work to avoid being hit gives you more time," said Bates.

By this point, law enforcement should have been notified and they are on their way. 

Every second counts when dealing with an active shooter. Above all, do not just sit in place. Move around, make noise and scream.

"Create havoc, make as much noise as you can, throw as much stuff at the bad guy, try to overload his senses so that he or she has so much stuff coming at them, it's visually overloading and mentally overloading," added Bates.

Often times, these shooters might have been training at a shooting range, using stationary targets.

If you huddle under your desk, you make you make yourself an easy target. When you move, it's harder even for a trained marksman to hit you.

Bates said being mentally and physically prepared to react is the key here.

“If I'm in a movie theater and someone comes in where can I run? If I'm in an office building and I can't run, where can I hide? If I'm in this room and I can no longer hide, what can I use to fight back to increase my odds of survival? It just boils down to having a plan and more than anything, mental preparedness," explained Bates.

If you'd like for someone with the Huntsville Police Department to come and speak to your business about active shooter training you can call (256) 427-5583 and if you would like them to come to a school you can call (256) 427-4197. 

To watch the video simulation on a mobile device, click here.

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