Surviving the Unthinkable: Active Shooter Preparedness

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Written by Bernie Carr

I am saddened by what recently happened in a grocery store in Fordyce, Arkansas. Those poor victims were just trying to do their grocery shopping on a late Friday morning. As of this writing, a fourth victim has died from the shooting.

Unfortunately, these shootings continue to happen. Active shooter incidents are considered statistically rare but can have devastating consequences. In this article, we’ll look at active shooter preparedness strategies.

  1. Observe your Surroundings at All Times:
    • Knowledge is power. Look around you. Stay informed about your surroundings, be aware of emergency exits, and familiarize yourself with evacuation routes. Awareness is the first line of defense. Recognize things that are out of the ordinary, such as someone standing in a corner that’s normally empty, or someone just sitting in their car in the heat. This does not mean they are up to no good, just that you must notice small details that are out of the norm.
  2. Develop an Emergency Action Plan:
    • Work with your workplace, school, or community to establish a comprehensive emergency action plan. This plan should include communication protocols, designated safe areas, and evacuation procedures.
  3. Run, Hide, Fight:
  4. Emergency Communication:
    • Establish clear communication channels within your workplace or community. Ensure that everyone knows how to use emergency communication tools and is aware of designated assembly points.
  5. Active Shooter Drills:
    • Practice makes perfect. Conduct regular active shooter drills to reinforce the emergency action plan. Simulating different scenarios helps individuals react more calmly and decisively during a real crisis.
  6. Look for Exits
    • As mentioned above, always be aware. We can’t stress this enough. Whether at work, school, or a public place, take note of the layout and potential exit points. Being familiar with your surroundings can save precious seconds in an emergency.
  7. Report Suspicious Activity:
    • If you see something, say something. Report any suspicious behavior or activities to the appropriate authorities. Early intervention can prevent potential threats from escalating.
  8. Emergency Contact Information:
    • Keep a list of emergency contacts on hand. This includes not only local law enforcement and medical services but also contacts within your workplace or school who can provide information and support during a crisis.
  9. First Aid Training:
    • Basic first aid skills can be invaluable in emergency situations. Consider taking a first aid and CPR course to enhance your ability to assist yourself and others in the aftermath of an incident.
  10. Embrace Technology:
    • Leverage technology to enhance your preparedness. Use mobile apps that provide real-time emergency alerts, and keep your phone charged to ensure you have communication capabilities during a crisis.
  11. Create a Personal Emergency Kit:
    • Pack a small emergency kit with essentials such as a flashlight, water, first aid supplies, and any necessary medications. Having these items readily available can be crucial in a lockdown or evacuation situation.
  12. Stay Calm and Focused:
    • In the event of an active shooter incident, it’s essential to remain as calm as possible. Panic can hinder your ability to think clearly and make rational decisions.


Active shooter preparedness is a shared responsibility that requires a combination of awareness, planning, and proactive measures. By following these guidelines, you can contribute to creating a safer environment for yourself and those around you. Remember, preparation is key, and being informed and ready can make a significant difference in surviving the unthinkable. Stay vigilant, stay prepared, and prioritize your safety and the safety of others.

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About the author

Bernie Carr is the founder of Apartment Prepper. She has written several books including the best-selling Prepper’s Pocket Guide, Jake and Miller’s Big Adventure, The Penny-Pinching Prepper and How to Prepare for Most Emergencies on a $50 a Month Budget. Bernie’s latest e-book, FRUGAL DIY has just been released on Amazon. Her work appears in sites such as the Allstate Blog and, as well as print magazines such as Backwoods Survival Guide and Prepper Survival Guide. She has been featured in national publications such as Fox Business and Popular Mechanics. Learn more about Bernie here.







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