A Step-By-Step Guide on what to do should there be an active shooter on campus.
By Destiny Camacho
In light of recent events on campus and around the country, there is a need for students and faculty to know what to do in the event of an emergency situation. This semester we have had a few alerts sent out by the OLLU Alert System. Many students did not know what to do when the first alert was sent out. Other students claimed they didn’t receive an alert.
The alert system is tailored so that a generic alert is sent out to the campus immediately after an incident has been reported. There are three types of prerecorded messages: Public Safety Emergency, Weather Emergency, and Active Shooter. The subsequent alerts hold more information as it becomes available and updated through social media, university email and the alert system.
Although there is little information sent in the initial alerts, they should not be ignored. As a precaution, the worst-case scenario should be assumed and students should begin steps to secure their personal safety.
Recently a man exercising his right to open carry was seen near campus. In ensuring the safety of students, faculty and staff, OLLU administrators decided to put the school on lockdown. While a series of alerts were sent out, many students felt confused about what they should do next.
Last summer faculty and staff had training sessions that dealt with emergency situations on campus. However, these were mandatory sessions and not everyone attended.
Mike Thompson was one of the staff members who attended these sessions. a member of the staff working in the Mass Comm. department, describes what the classes were about. “We were told to go to a secure place nearby,” said Thompson, “to stay quiet and avoid if you can. Of course, your last option is fight.”
So what do you do if you find yourself in a situation where there is an active shooter on campus?
First of all, the most important thing to do is to remain calm. If you are panicking, you won’t be able to logically assess the situation. Furthermore, if you are the one who has spotted the shooter, inform the authorities of the situation.
Provide the following information:
Clarify that you are on the Our Lady of the Lake University campus.
Provide the location of the active shooter.
Provide the number of shooters, if there is more than one.
Give a physical description of the shooter(s).
Provide the number and type of weapons held by the shooter(s).
Give the number of potential victims at the location.
There are three options you have in a situation such as this: RUN, HIDE, FIGHT®.
Your first option should always be RUN, leave your belongings where they are and get somewhere safe. Always know where all the exits are in the building. If you don’t know, try coming in differently every time to better acquaint yourself with your surroundings and where the exits are.
If you find yourself stuck in a place where you can’t get away your next option is to HIDE. Turn off the lights, step away from windows and doors, and remain quiet. If you find yourself with other people do not huddle together because then you become easy targets. You should also lock and barricade the doors if possible to provide more security.
Your last and final option should be to FIGHT. Only take this route if everything else has failed. This is your last resort! If the shooter is too close for you to hide or run you must then attempt to incapacitate the shooter. Find an object you can use as a weapon such as a fire extinguisher or chair.
When law enforcement officials arrive, remain calm and follow the officers’ instructions. You should immediately raise your hands and spread your fingers and keep your hands visible at all times. You should also avoid quick movements toward officers as well as pointing, screaming or yelling. Also, DO NOT STOP AND ASK OFFICERS for help or direction when evacuating! Just proceed in the direction that the officer’s entered the premises.
If you need to update your information because you are not receiving alerts, you can do so in the My OLLU Portal, just search for OLLU Alert, click University Contact Information Form and enter your credentials.
Run Hide Fight® is a registered trademark of the City of Houston.