4 Simple Tips To Help You Survive An Active Shooting

Unfortunately, knowing how to survive an active shooting is quickly becoming one of the most necessary survival skills today. Active shootings have become more and more frequent as of late. And the most terrifying part about this is that there’s no real way to plan for such an event. Oftentimes, it just happens without warning.

Now, true, you have very little control over the shooter’s actions once he/she decides to start firing. However, it’s important to quickly  grab onto what you can control: your reaction to the event.

This information is more crucial now than it’s ever been. That’s why we all need to be aware of and follow these…

Simple Tips To Help You Survive An Active Shooting


You know that saying, “When you fail to plan, you plan to fail?” That saying was made for situations like these. Since shootings happen most often in large, public areas (i.e: schools, movie theaters, concert halls) it is imperative you make a plan when you get there and prepare for if an active shooter strikes.

Imagine the scenario in your mind, and play it through. Where’s the nearest exit? What’s an alternative escape route in case the previous one is inaccessible? Is there a self-defense weapon you can bring with you? These are things to assess ahead of time.

It’s also incredibly important to remain aware of the people and situations around you. So often, a shooter will give suspicious signals that they are about to do the unthinkable. And, yet, many of us don’t see or recognize these because we’re buried in our phones, are living in our own heads, or are just plain unaware of what’s going on around us.

If you see something, say something. If someone is acting suspiciously, or you just have a bad feeling about someone, report it. You may be saving the lives of everyone around you. In addition, choose seating that’s facing the door/room, and is near the exit. This will help you get out quickly if a shooting occurs.


This should be a no-brainer – however, something happens when you get caught in an active shooter situation. Many times, your body freezes, and your feet refuse to move. You are literally frozen in fear.

That’s why it’s absolutely crucial to plan out your escape route ahead of time. That way, your body and brain can be alert, active and ready for when the shooting occurs.

As Sofrep News states:

Don’t lie there with your eyes closed and get shot. Think and move. In these situations you have to take charge and get in the mindset of self-rescue. You cannot wait for first-responders – it takes too long. A good decision executed quickly is better than a great one never executed.

Another important note: when you run, run in a zigzag pattern. It may be more difficult to hit a moving target, but it’s extra difficult to do when the runner’s movements are unpredictable. Don’t look back and give yourself every opportunity to survive.


If  you  can’t run away and  you must hide, remember to always choose cover over concealment. What does this mean? It means concealment both protects your body AND allows you to stay hidden. For instance, it’s always better to hide behind a concrete wall rather than a movie seat. If possible, always go the concealment route.

If at all possible, try to make sure you can see what’s going on around you while staying hidden. This can help you determine the shooter’s route, and will help you run in the opposite direction when it’s safe to do so.


This option should be an absolute last resort. However, desperate times call for desperate measures. If you’re put in a situation that forces you to fight back, it’s best to have a self-defense weapon on you to help you out. It doesn’t have to be a gun, either – almost anything can be useful as a weapon. Grab anything you can find.

Your response is ultimately going to reflect your level of preparation, ability, and skill at the time of the event. That’s why  taking self-defense classes, shooting courses, and other training can really help you out here.

In addition, as Sofrep News states:

When doing close quarter combat drills in the SEALs, we’d draw a gun with someone over 20 feet away running at us. In most cases you can be on someone before they can draw and take a shot. I’m not advocating running straight at someone, but if you have the tactical advantage (jam, re-loading, distraction or the shooter isn’t paying attention) then take the shooter down or get the hell out of there. Remember that a moving target is extremely hard to hit, even for the well-trained shooter. Deal with the situation with your eyes wide open.

An active shooter can show themselves and begin firing at any time. But, by taking the proper precautions and planning accordingly, these can significantly increase your ability to survive an active shooting. Remember, you’ll be most effective when you transition from a “victim” mentality to a “survivor” mentality. Prepare Now, Survive Later!

8 Responses
  • Lola Heinze
    October 8, 2017

    How about a refresher course on how to survive mass panic and the best ways to prevent being trampeled

  • Frank
    October 8, 2017

    Pretty good advice

  • CHuck
    October 8, 2017

    “If possible, always go the concealment route.” This should be COVER not concealment here….

    OTHERWISE this is a top shelf essay.

  • Mary Powell
    October 8, 2017

    First get conseal carry and then get your self a Hk 40 never leave home without it .practice shooting every chance I get and be prepared .

  • DVR
    October 9, 2017

    Repeatedly using the left-wing tag of the “worst mass shooting in American history” without thinking makes me want to vomit. Of course the shooting was horrific and tragic.
    Leaving politics out of the discussion, the Waco massacre(just one example) left 76 men, pregnant woman, and 20 children shot and killed, with some wounded, then all were burned, some still alive to accomplish the goal of no survivors.
    The active shooter points were fine. Bottom line, always have an exit or contingency plan.

  • Dave
    October 9, 2017

    Las Vegas was especially difficult because the shooter was reportedly 300+ yards away or well out of handgun range & I don’t think anyone takes a rifle with them to a concert. I am a bit surprised that in 11 minutes not one police officer showed up with a rifle & returned fire. In that situation the shooter was obviously just spraying a large area. Running in a straight kine to the nearest cover would have been the best defense.

  • David Whaley
    October 9, 2017

    Helpful.Have to do this without appearing (or being perceived as) paraanoid.

  • billlex
    October 10, 2017

    Maybe I am wrong, but I thought shooting occur in small groups more often….. i.e. prayer groups…. Regardless, bump firing has been around since full auto was banned. Simple method of hooking a thumb in a belt loop. Bump stocks are a new invention…… banning them will have no effect on bump firing…..