When violence erupts, our first instincts are not always the best. Whether it's an armed individual who enters the workplace or random gunfire in an open area, following these steps can increase your chance of survival.
Seek cover. Shut off the lights, lock the doors and hide. Remember that there is a difference between cover and concealment. Concealment simply hides you. Cover is a significant physical barrier between you and a threat. Make sure that you hide behind concrete or steel. Get behind robust office furniture like a filing cabinet or a safe. Sheet rock is easily penetrable, so interior walls do not provide an adequate defense against a firearm.
Evacuate. In most cases, flight is your best option. Of course, the decision to take flight depends on the proximity of the bad guy to you, your ability to move quickly and whether you have a clear route of escape. It's a good idea for employees to keep comfortable footwear at the office. Evacuate with your hands up and don't carry anything that could be confused as a weapon. Run while you evacuate. It reduces the chance of a bullet connecting with you as your distance from the suspect increases.
Call 9-1-1. Your safety comes first. Call 9-1-1 as soon as possible after you are safe or immediately if you are not in physical danger.
Assist law enforcement. Stay calm, give as much detail and information as possible, and remain on the line until you are told to hang up. You can help by describing the suspect and his location.
Overcome the shooter. In some situations, it may be necessary to try to overcome the shooter. This should be attempted only if you have no other option to remove yourself from the situation. You may have access to lethal, nonlethal (but aggressive) or improvised weaponry. A fogging fire extinguisher can be used to temporarily blind an intruder and can also be handled as a blunt instrument. "If you have to fight, fight with anything you can. This includes hands, feet, teeth, sprays or office equipment," suggests David Katz, president and CEO of Global Security Group.
Join the CIO New Zealand group on LinkedIn. The group is open to CIOs, IT Directors, COOs, CTOs and senior IT managers.