Active Shootings: How to Prepare to Save Your Family’s Life

Active Shootings: How to Prepare to Save Your Family’s Life

Active Shootings: How To Protect Your Family's Life - PreparaMom

Photo By: www.ready.marines.mil

 

 

It’s a sad but true reality – active shootings. While we can debate how we got to this place, what’s most helpful right now is learning how you can be prepared to save you and your family’s life. 

Imagine you’re out at the mall, department store, or park. You’re going about your day and checking off lists, watching your kids play or enjoying time in a movie. Suddenly you hear what sounds like firecrackers but followed by screaming and panic. Your reality just changed. You’re in an active shooter situation.

What do you do next?

Three options for dealing with an active shooter situation:

 

Run

  • Try to escape the area as quickly as possible. When you go into an area, be aware of at least two exit routes and have an escape plan in mind. 
  • Be committed to escaping regardless if others refuse to get out
  • Help others escape if possible
  • Keep your hands up and visible if you encounter law enforcement
  • Call 911 when you are in a safe area

Hide

  • If you can’t escape, find a location where the active shooter is less likely to find you
  • Your hiding place should be out of view
  • Provide protection from gunfire if possible (brick, concrete, cinder block wall)
  • Use an office or room with a locked door. Use heavy furniture or office equipment to block the door.

 

If the active shooter is nearby, 

  • Turn off the lights
  • Silence your cell phone or any other source of noise (TV, radio, etc.)
  • Be silent

If possible, call 911 and alert the dispatcher where the shooter’s location is. If you cannot talk, leave the line open to allow the dispatcher to listen.

Remember, you may have to hide for hours until law enforcement secures the threat. 

 

Fight

  • As a last resort, only fight when you cannot hide and your life and/or your family are in imminent danger. 
  • Act as aggressively as possible and fully commit to your actions 
  • Improvise weapons using items around you (fire extinguishers, chairs, etc.)

 

Law enforcement that arrives first on the scene have the primary job of eliminating the threat, it is unfortunately not to render help. They must stay focused on the situation and work to end the threat as soon as possible. 

Help will come as more first responders arrive. It’s an unfortunate reality that we are faced with these situations but being aware of your surroundings and having a plan of action will help you survive. Take a look at this video made by the City of Houston, TX that reviews that same 3 tips for active shooter survival. 

 

 

Active Shooter Safety Resources:

 

Safety Guidelines for Armed Subjects, Active Shooter Situations, Indiana University Police Department, April 2007

Safety Tips & Guidelines Regarding Potential “Active Shooter” Incidents Occurring on Campus, University of California Police

Shots Fired, When Lightning Strikes (DVD), Center for Personal Protection and Safety, 2007

https://www.dhs.gov/sites/default/files/publications/active-shooter-how-to-respond-508.pdf

Common Foods Kids Choke On

Common Foods Kids Choke On

Common Foods Kids Choke On - PreparaMom

Babies and toddlers are notorious for sticking everything into their mouths. Unfortunately, choking has been one of the leading causes of injury and death in children under four-years-old for decades now.

One of the biggest choking hazards, isn’t toys or other knick-knacks that a child might pick up. It’s actually food they swallow whole rather than chewing up. Let’s talk about the foods that need to be avoided (or at least that you need to be careful with) and what to do in the event of a choking incident.

Foods that need to be carefully supervised for children under 4

The main problem with children choking is they don’t fully chew their food, leaving larger pieces they then try to swallow whole. If a food item is round and hard, it can slip down into the windpipe and completely block the airway.

Additionally, food that is sticky and gooey (such as candy or marshmallows) can be difficult to chew which can lead to a choking hazard. If you have a young child (under 4), you need to either avoid these foods, or cut them up into extra small pieces no bigger than half an inch:

  • Hot dogs
  • Grapes
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Peanut butter
  • Popcorn

Supervision is key for young children and certain foods

When you’re feeding a small child, it’s important to supervise them. Don’t allow your toddler to walk around and eat. They should be seated and paying attention to what they’re doing. (A little kid can’t multi-task, so walking and eating at the same time can be dangerous – and messy!)

The real danger is that it only takes four minutes for a child to die from choking and even less time for permanent brain damage to set in. Be really cautious during these first years even while you are in the front seat driving, your child could be choking in the back seat.

What should I do if my child begins choking?

As hard as this may sound, stay calm. Freaking out takes away precious time and can keep you from focusing on the necessary steps to take.

Call 911 immediately and tell them that you have a choking child. Even if you dislodge the food, they can still come take a look at your child to make sure they are OK.

Be prepared by taking a CPR class with your local Red Cross or health organization. This will teach you the proper way to do the Heimlich maneuver on an infant or young child.

Choking is not something to play around with. Pay special attention to the types of foods your child eats and if you have any concerns, skip it and feed them something else. You can also be sure to help them with their digestion by cutting food into very small pieces for easy chewing.

Be Prepared for life’s curveballs!

Bumps, bruises and owies – oh my! Parenthood is never boring. Be prepared with a first aid kit designed exclusively with you and your kids in mind.  Check out PreparaKit.com for kits and tools created for busy parents who want to be ready for the unexpected.