Everyone should be prepared in case of a mass shooting, NCCU professor says

NCCU professor M. Chris Herring.

DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) – Mass shootings like the one in Orlando over the weekend can happen anywhere, and everyone needs to know how to deal with a situation.

An NCCU professor who specializes in disaster preparedness says the Orlando shooting is a tragic reminder that where large numbers of people gather, we have to be prepared for an attack.

“We need to do a better job of preparing individuals and groups to respond to a mass shooting,” Dr. M. Chris Herring, NCCU professor, said.

A former police chief and now the director of NCCU’s institute for homeland security, Dr. Herring says keeping yourself safe in a mass shooting depends partly on how you — as an individual — prepare.

He said you have to ask yourself, “Where are you sitting? Where are the exits? Where is security?”

He also says active shooter drills are necessary for more than just schools.

“It’s a new day and a new time and that training is needed,” Dr. Herring said.

He says clubs, movie theaters and especially faith-based organizations need to make sure they are being watchful.

“In addition to active shooter training, there ought to be key people trained in a house of worship in case someone tries to come in there,” Dr. Herring said. “Folks need to know what to do and how to assist law enforcement.”

Surprisingly, he said, because of the drills that take place in schools, younger kids are more prepared than adults to deal with these kinds of situations.

“You ask a child what do you do, they’ll raise their hand and say I know what to do,” he said. “Or if someone comes in and says get down,the children will get down and won’t complain. But you’ll probably have adults ask questions and say ‘is all of this necessary?'”

Dr. Herring said that most local law enforcement are more than happy to work with citizen groups and organizations to help prepare them for what they need to do in emergency and disaster situations.

RELATED: Full Orlando Terror Attack coverage

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