Immediately, upon the sight or sound of an active shooter or person with a weapon event, create as much cover and/or distance between you and the shooter as possible. This may allow you the ability to escape the area altogether or allow you an opportunity to seek refuge in a classroom or office and lockdown.
Cover – is an object or structure that by its very nature has the ability to prevent the penetration of a fired bullet (thick metal, concrete, brick, large trees, vehicle engines, etc.).
Concealment – is used to hide from someone’s sight. It may also provide Cover (see above), but many times does not (drapes, cardboard box, sheetrock, desks, chairs, bushes, etc.).
Knowing the location of the assailant will be your primary factor in deciding whether to escape or lockdown. Is the assailant in the immediate area? Is the assailant inside or outside; upstairs, downstairs or on your floor? If you can avoid the assailant and safely escape, then do it.
Knowing the floor plan of the building you are occupying prior to a critical incident will help in your decision to escape or lockdown. Where are all the exits to the building? Are the windows functioning, through which to allow you to escape? Can you break a window to create an escape route? Where are all the stairwells and where do they lead?
Time and distance from the assailant create a safer environment. Stay away from long hallways that do not provide cover, rooms that you are not able to properly secure or barricade and wide-open areas.
Using a ‘leap-frog’, bound-and-cover or serpentine technique may assist you during your escape, but remember to keep moving; it is much more difficult to shoot at and hit a moving target than a stationary one.