On Sunday, at least 59 people were killed and hundreds more injured when an active shooter opened fire from a Las Vegas hotel window on concertgoers below. Thousands of people scrambled for safety during the active shooter situation.

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The Department of Homeland Security describes an active shooteras “an individual actively engaged in killing or attempting to kill people in a confined and populated area.” An active shooter situation is often unpredictable, evolving quickly, and usually do not end until law enforcement arrives to stop the shooting.

Here are several practices for coping with an active shooter situation, as suggested by the DHS:

  • Be aware of your environment and any possible dangers.
  • Take note of the two nearest exits in any facility you visit.
  • If you are in an office, stay there and secure the door.
  • If you are in a hallway, get into a room and secure the door.
  • As a last resort, attempt to take the active shooter down.
  • Call 911 when it is safe to do so.

If there is an escape path, attempt to evacuate the premise. If evacuation is not possible, try to find a place where the active shooter is less likely to find you. If neither of those options are possible, attempting to disrupt or stop the active shooter should be a last resort.

When police arrive, you should remain calm and keep hands visible at all times. Avoid making any sudden movements of loud screams because of the tension during the situation. Provide law enforcement with any information you may have regarding the shooter or shooters.

Click here for more tips from the Department of Homeland Security on how to deal with an active shooter situation.

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