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Shootings – Have a Plan

You can run, you can hide and you can fight. These three tips are becoming increasingly popular as shooting incidents are becoming a reality for more communities across the country including St. Joseph, Missouri.

An active shooter situation is unpredictable and can evolve quickly. There may not be any rhyme or reason to who is being targeted. It is important we take action to be prepared, in case the unthinkable happens.

Law enforcement officials recommend running, hiding and fighting as ways to greatly reducing your risk of being harmed. A few best practices for coping with an active shooter situation are:

  • Being aware of your environment and noting possible dangers (minimal exits, confined spaces etc.)
  • Noting the nearest exits in any facility you visit.
  • If the event of an active shooter call 911 if it is safe to do so.
  • 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.
    • When a shooter is at close range and you cannot flee, your chance of survival is much greater if you try to incapacitate him/her.

It is very important to understand what to do in a shooting incident. We’ve always been trained on what to do when a fire alarm or tornado siren are activated. Active shooter training is just as important.

Kathryn Worland, MSW, LCSW is the Director of Behavioral Health Services and Patient-Centered Medical Home at Northwest Health Services. Kathryn offers patient de-escalation training for all Northwest Health staff members and is a leader on Northwest Health’s safety committee.


For more information the Department of Homeland Security has resources available on their website.

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