Run, Hide, Fight, Prepare Your Family

October 24, 2017

Run, Hide, Fight, Prepare Your Family

by Ian D Scofield

It is sad that we actually have to talk about this in the modern world but your family should know what to do when there is an active shooter or a similar form of attack.  This has been proven multiple times with one of the most recent pieces of evidence being the Las Vegas shooting.  So how do you prepare your family?  It starts with talking with them.  This guide should help as a start to educating your family.

During an attack, your family should try running.  If they can’t escape, they should hide.  Running and hiding isn’t always an option either, that is when fighting becomes necessary.  Let’s break it down as if we are addressing your family members.


The first step for non-law enforcement during an attack is to attempt to run.  Without hesitating, you should break down the situation in your mind.  Analyze where all of the exits are and where the attacker appears to be.  Running is often the safest option as it gets you off the X. 

Being aware of your surroundings helps you to always know the quickest way out of any building (or event) that you are in.  You should also take mental notes on secondary exit strategies as you move.

When running away from an active shooter event, you should always keep your hands visible and visually empty.  That way if you run into an LEO, you will not get shot.

Running is only an option when you have a guaranteed way out, or as close to one as possible.  If you don’t know where the threat is, what kind of threat is present, and/or how many threats there are, you should avoid running.


Getting out of your shooter’s view is the second option for getting off the X.  Moving into a secondary room that you can barricade and/or lock is the best option.  Any kind of furniture you can use is better than nothing.  Before doing anything though, silence your phone.  Do not place it on vibrate, as that can still cause noise.

After barricading yourself inside your hiding spot, you should not open the door for anyone.  Get out of the direct pathway of the door so that you are safe.  Call 9-1-1 and let them know where you are.  They will be able to inform you as to when an officer is outside of your hiding spot.

In some of the recent attacks, people have hidden by playing dead.  Playing dead can be as risky of an option as trying to fight the attacker.  If an attacker sees any movement of your body, they might decide to attack you for real.  With a long distance shooter or an attacker that isn’t paying attention after aiming at a target, this is a safer option.


One of the problems with how Run/Hide/Fight is taught, is that most people say that you should start at the run and analyze your way to fight only if it is your last option.  At any point, if you are present with an option to remove a threat via fighting back you should do so.  But only if you are 100% sure the threat can be eliminated.  Otherwise, fighting should be done only if you have no other option.

By fight, it is important that you realize that this is not the time for a fair fight.  If you are put in the situation where you need to fight a threat, make sure that it is you walking away.  It doesn’t matter if you have to spit, bite, throw, punch, or even aim for the family jewels.  Use any weapons that you have at hand from fire extinguishers to brooms.

If you can, decide the place where you fight the attacker.  By choosing the attack point you will have the element of surprise.  Take any advantage you can in a fight.

Remove The Victim Mindset

Another factor that Run/Hide/Fight has been criticized for is leaving people with the victim mindset.  Instead, anyone in an active shooter or other attacker situation should be thinking of themselves as a defender or protector.  You should be practicing active self-protection.  You might not have the ability to wait until law enforcement arrives.

Preparing your family is important.  You want them to be able to come out on top in any situation where an attacker may be praying on them.  Engage them in a serious conversation about what to do.  Also take the time to speak with them about what to do if you are with them.  Being with an armed defender will often change plans and ability.

Stay safe out there.



About The Author:

Ian is a staff writer at APTI and hospital security officer at a major medical center who has a Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice with a Specialization in Administration of Justice.  He has held multiple positions in the security industry from patrol supervisor to auxiliary public safety officer.  At APTI he brings his writing skills to help further the careers of others and provide quality content.  Feel free to visit his freelancing site or his creative writing site.

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