With the recent events in San Bernardino, California the question of what to do in an active shooter situation is on the minds of many.
Steven MacMartin is a recently retired Senior Special Agent with the Department of Homeland Security. He says every workplace, school, and hospital should have a plan in place for an active shooter situation.
"It behooves every organization to have an active shooter plan," he said. "It's not good enough to just have it and publicize it, you have to practice it."
MacMartin says the first thing you should do when entering a building or the office you work in is know the exits. Where's the closest exit to you?
He says you then should talk with your employer about having a plan and practicing it.
If confronted with an active shooter, MacMartin says you can either try to run away or shelter in place. If you shelter in place, try to make it to an office or somewhere that has a door that can be locked.
"You have to think of what's next if you have to confront the shooter. You have to do something, throw your laptop, your stapler, dry to disarm them."
If your employer does not have an active shooter drill in place and is interested in starting one, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security website is a good place to start. Here is a pamphlet from the department:
It's also a good idea for your workplace to team up with your local police department for more in-depth training.
Workplace violence can be a difficult conversation to have, but talking with your children is important. Experts say kids need to know they're safe.
If your kids don’t know about the shooting, you don’t need to talk to them about it. If they do know about it, avoid giving them details. Instead, let them start the conversation with what they do know.
“We don't want to bring something up that may be distressing to them if it's not already on their mind,” Dr. Kate Eshleman, a Pediatric Psychologist at Cleveland Clinic, said. “So approaching it in a more neutral way, asking them if there are things they've heard about or seen and go from there.”
If you notice a change in your child’s diet, sleep behavior or appetite, contact their pediatrician immediately.
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