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Run. Hide. Fight.

November 5th, 2018 by Guest Communications

We first shared this video when the City of Houston released it back in September of 2012. The original post of the video has now had over 7.4 million views, and the video has been re-posted a number of times.  In the wake of the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting this past month I wanted to share it again. It is a great pieces to pass on to others – from family & friends to those who organize trainings for active shooter events.

The city of Houston recently released a video demonstrating how people should react in an active shooter event. Mayor Annise Parker had the video produced as part of a disaster preparedness plan, and in the wake of the Aurora, Colorado, movie theatre shooting, it was released earlier than planned, but it is still designed to be part of a wider safety campaign.

In a statement describing why the video was created, Dennis J. Storemski, director of the Houston mayor’s Office of Public Safety and Homeland Security, said, “We hope our residents are never confronted with such an event, but we want to prepare them with some important information if they ever find themselves in this situation.”

The video has been viewed more than 750,000 times on YouTube and the public response has been overwhelming. Houston City Hall has fielded requests for the video from cities and businesses from coast to coast, and responses to the video have popped up online. One question that seems to come up often is that of citizens being armed. Texas is a concealed-carry state and many have asked why the video does not depict anyone fighting back with their own weapon. According to the AP, Houston officials responded that the instructional video is meant for the general population, rather than the less than 3 percent of Texas residents who have a permit to carry a gun.

The idea of the “RUN. HIDE. FIGHT” campaign is to create a catch phrase, much like “stop, drop and roll.” They want to firmly ingrain the idea in the viewer’s mind that the first and best thing to do is to run. Parker was quoted by CBS News as saying, “In a crisis situation, you … don’t want to stop and analyze. It’s, ‘I know what to do.’ And it’s automatic. The first instinct is to hide. And as we clearly say in the video, the first thing you need to do is get the heck out of there.” If you can’t escape then you hide and if you can’t hide then, as a last resort, you take the video’s final recommendation and you fight back. The video’s narrator says, “Fight, act with aggression. Improvise weapons, disarm him and commit to taking the shooter down, no matter what.”

The video is well made and offers some very practical and meaningful suggestions. We have heard many people comment that Parker is correct; they believed their first instinct would be to hide. Running is a much better alternative, if it is possible to get away from the situation. When showing the video’s characters hiding, the video reminds of the importance of locking a door if possible, or moving furniture or heavy equipment to block the door. It also suggests turning off the ringer on your cell phone, something that many would not think about.

The video can be viewed on YouTube:

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