Officials urge people to run, hide, fight in active-shooter situations

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WNCN) — Immediately after a man attacked students at Ohio State University, school officials tweeted out for students to seek shelter and to run, hide, and fight.

The phrase confused a lot of people who didn’t know its origin.

“Run, Hide, Fight” is a video funded by the Department of Homeland Security that’s used all over the country to help people know what to do in an active shooter situation.

The video reenacts just how quickly these situations unfold.

“Your survival may depend on whether or not you have a plan,” the video states.

Ohio State is one of a number of colleges that use the video to better prepare students and teachers.

“That can happen anywhere,” said Michael Penry, police chief at Wake Tech.

“You respond in situations how you train and how you learn,” Penry said.

His department uses the video to give students and staff quick and easy steps to remember even under stress.

“The first step is to run, to get as far as possible from the source of danger,” Penry explained.

If you can’t run, hide.

“Secure yourself in an office or classroom, secure the doors, cut off the lights, silent your cell phones,” Penry said.

And if all else fails, you fight.

“The fight is the last step in the process. If you find yourself engaged with the suspect, your life depends on it at that point,” Penry explained. “You’d only do that in situations where it was absolutely necessary.”

Duke University and N.C. State University use similar videos that reinforce the same ideas. You can watch Duke’s video here and N.C. State University’s here.

“A lot of people don’t realize it’s happening, until it’s already happened,” explained Dwayne Eury, Wake County Security Director. “It’s not a matter of if, it’s a matter of when it’s a matter of when.”

Wake County also uses the “Run, Hide, Fight” video to train county staff.

“If you don’t have a plan you can just freeze and not know what to do,” said Eury.

Both agree it’s the video’s simplicity that makes it effective.

“If you go to the mall, or a church, or a movie theater, every place I just mentioned an active shooter event has occurred,” said Eury.

“That’s the good thing about run hide fight,” Penry said, “It can apply in different situations. It’s not just for a school setting. If I go to the grocery store and there’s a shooting, Run, Hide, Fight. It’s just a simple tool, three steps to remember in an active shooter situation.”

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