I woke up this morning like I do every morning. Snuggled up in my blanket, my dogs cuddled up around me, fan blowing in my face. It was just like any other day for me. Then, I got on social media and my heart immediately started to ache. News articles everywhere about the massacre shooting in Las Vegas last night. As I laid in bed sleeping, people were losing their lives, losing loved ones. Tears rolled down my cheeks as I watched dozens of videos and read multiple articles. More than 50 people dead, over 500 injured. This morning I was supposed to wake up and post a totally different blog post, and I thought about going through with it, but how can I do that when such a tragic event has happened.
What do we do now?
How can our country move forward from this?
In the past couple months, the world has endured many threatening events. Tsunamis, hurricanes, earthquakes, wild fires, now this mass shooting, the deadliest shooting in US history. And although the mass shooting was not an act of mother nature but rather an act of evil, the results are the still the same.
So what do we do now? How can our country move forward from this? We do what we can. We can pray for those who are affected, directly and indirectly. Pray for the people who are evil because they probably do not have anyone who love them or for them to love. Pray that they will block out evil thoughts and let the light in. Pray that we have strength to endure tragedies after tragedies. And after we’re done praying, start helping. Help rebuild, help spread hope, and help send love to the people who are suffering more than you are. Our country is strong, the world is strong, we will be ok, we will prevail.
What to do during a shooting
In the wake of tragedies like this, it’s always important to know what to do in these types of situations.
1. Be aware. This step is so important. You should always be aware of your surroundings. Keep a look out for suspicious people.
2. Have a plan. You never know where you’ll be and when you’ll be put in a life threatening situation. If you’re going to be at the same place for more than 15 mins, I suggest you start looking around for the closest exits or hiding place.
3. Silence your phone. If you were hiding and all of a sudden you get text messages or calls, now your hiding space has been compromised.
4. Run. Run towards the nearest exit if possible and take as many people with you as possible. Try not to push and shove, other people are trying to get out too.
5. Hide. If you listened to my step 2, you would have a plan to run towards your hiding spots within seconds. Use heavy objects to block doors, and stay as quiet as possible.
6. Fight. This should be the last resort. Fighting the shooter should only happen if your life is in immediate danger. If you fight, be prepared to follow through with it. Hesitating can cost you your life. Fighting as a group will give you a better chance of surviving. The gunman can’t get everyone, and if you unite, you’re more likely to survive.
Related personal stories
I remember after the shooting at Ariana Grande’s concert, I went to Selena Gomez’s concert. As I was sitting there on the bottom floor, I evaluated all of my exit strategies. There were two exits near me. One on my left, and one behind me. To my left, there were many people also sitting in the same row, but behind me were just rows of empty chairs. I asked myself, “If I were put in the situation, which exit would be easiest?” If I went left, I would have to wait for everyone to run out of the way. If I went back, I would have to jump all the chairs in the way. In the end, my decision was that I would jump the chairs because at least the chairs would be still and more predictable than waiting for people to run. The concert went without a problem but having a plan put my mind at ease.
Another time, I was at the airport just days after the airport shooting in Fort Lauderdale. I have never been so aware of my surroundings. I was looking around for any suspicious activities and I came up with a plan. We were standing at the check in counter to check in our luggages. I thought, if I needed to, I would grab my family and we would run behind the counter, passed the conveyor belt and to the wall behind that and hide. Of course nothing happened that day, but once again, it’s always nice to have a plan.
Earlier this year, at the Houston Rodeo, I was sitting there waiting on some friends to buy food when all of a sudden I see people running and shouting, “Someone has a gun!” Without a moment’s notice, my bf grabbed me and we ran over to our friends who were not aware that people were running and we told them we needed to go. The first thing we did was run behind the stand where they were cooking the BBQ. I wanted to hide there until everything settled down but one of our friend grabbed us and we ran. We jumped over walls and fences and we just kept running until we reached the exit. I don’t think I have ever been more scared in my life.
Planning an exit strategy will take no more than a couple minutes and it could save your life.
Stay safe, be aware.