Personal safety tips to survive an active shooter situation

  • Published
  • By Robert Doyle
  • 934th Airlift Wing Anti-Terrorism Program Manager

Subways, parades, shopping malls, grocery stores, hospitals, work centers, movie theaters, churches and schools.

Places we view as ‘common places’ and each of which have unfortunately been the scene of mass violence in 2022.

According to data from the Gun Violence Archive, as of 5 Jul 22, there have been at least 314 mass shooting incidents in the 186 days of this year. The Gun Violence Archive defines mass shootings as four or more people shot or killed, not including the shooter.

Terrorist and Domestic Violent Extremist organizations are using recent events in their propaganda campaigns to encourage lone actors to commit these attacks. They're spreading ideology and how-to guides through social media and publications. Increasingly, children are being targeted in these information campaigns to incite violence. Parents should be aware of what their children are viewing online because bad actors are recruiting through known social media forums and video game sites. Once connected, they send kids links to other sites.

Incidents of mass violence are often unpredictable and evolve quickly. Regardless of your political affiliation and beliefs or causes on mass violence; it's important for you to have a plan when you leave home. Consider the following:

- Maintain situational awareness.

- Know your surroundings and where the exits are.

- Know where the closest "safe haven" is (i.e. Police departments, fire departments, military bases) and how to get there quickly.

- Establish a rallying point if you become separated from friends and family.

- Do not become so impaired that you're unable to react to any situation.

- Remember that even peaceful gatherings have the ability to become violent at any time.

- Immediately report suspicious behavior/activity/items by calling 911.

Individuals interested in hometown security and active shooter preparedness can visit the Department of Homeland Security's Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency website at The site has checklists, videos and other helpful information to protect yourself and your families.

Military and Department of Defense civilians also receive Force Protection (AT Level I) training which is designed to lessen your chances of becoming a victim. Family members are encouraged to complete the training as well.

Individuals may contact the 934 AW Anti-Terrorism Program Manager at 612-713-1371 or the Office of Special Investigations at 612-713-1077/1078 for additional information.