Good Sunday morning, everyone! Last weekend was one of those horrific weekends. Mass shootings, taking innocent lives and affecting the lives of countless others for years to come.

We often, and not just in these mass shooting incidents, have the “it won’t happen to me” mentality. The threat of an active shooter attack is rare but very real.

Back when I was young, we had fire drills, tornado drills and at one time learned to “duck and cover” in the event of a nuclear bomb. We even learned about creating a bomb shelter in your home basement or cellar. Sadly, now we must learn active shooter drills.

I found this quote from Theodore Roosevelt that I think is accurate for today. “In any moment of decision … the best thing to do is the right thing, the next best thing to do is the wrong thing, and the worst thing to do is nothing.”

There are two trainings that have been developed for active shooter situations that I am aware of. The Run, Hide, Fight and ALICE training.

The Run, Hide, Fight program suggest the best thing to do when shooting is occurring is to RUN for safety, taking anyone possible with you. If running is not possible then HIDE. Hiding is best when you are in a room with a window and a door that can be locked and possibly blocked, anything that would make it difficult for the shooter to enter easily, this will deter them. Experts say don’t hide in a bathroom if the doors don’t lock and there is no other way to escape.

Your last resort is to FIGHT the shooter. If you can get a hold of a fire extinguisher and engage it that is recommended or anything you can swing or throw, aiming at the head or the hands. Fight like your life depends on it because it would.

Then there is the ALICE program. ALICE stands for Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, Evacuate. I’m not as well versed with this program, but the Counter is interesting. They don’t suggest you fight but rather get things to make noise or moment in several different directions to distract the shooter and throw off his aim.

I read the best thing anyone can do for themselves, when entering a building, is to know where the exits are. You should always be prepared, be alert to your surroundings and when you enter a space say, “OK, the likelihood of a shooting happening is not great but if it were to happen what’s my move going to be?

Trust your instinct, there is no harm in a false alarm!

Give. Advocate. Volunteer. Live United!

Sherri M. Askren is president of United Way of Danville Area, Inc., 28 W. North St., Danville, IL 61832. Phone: 442-3512

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