We are saddened about the events of the past week in Gilroy, El Paso, and Dayton. What I'd like to do is share some constructive thoughts and ideas. First off, let me say how thankful I am toward the Gilroy PD in the fast, efficient way they dealt with the shooter at the Garlic Festival. As a Northern California native the Garlic Festival has always been a highlight of summer activities. The event can attract over 100,000 people each year. The sheer numbers alone can make maintaining security difficult. As far as I can tell the event staff did everything right, they had security in the front attendees had to travel through and the back of the area was fenced. Sadly, they didn't foresee an individual cutting through the fence. While the loss of life was significant the shooter was eliminated within the first minute. Most active shooter events are around eight minutes. Eight minutes seems like so short a time for so many deaths. Which leads me to my next point.
We'd like to offer you some ideas on what you can do to stay safe in these types of events. First, know your nearest exit. Just like on a plane, your nearest exit may be behind you, scope that out while you're in a store, at an event, etc. Second, communicate with the people in your group where the exits are and what to do in an active shooter event. The Department of Homeland Security recommends these three actions: RUN, HIDE, FIGHT. Notice the first step to RUN! Third, in the event of a disaster it's human nature to put a positive spin on almost anything. For example, you hear a loud bang and think, "whoops someone just dropped something!" Now I need you to think- "I've got to get out of here-FAST." Remember most active shooter attacks are around eight minutes. That's not much time so don't waste valuable time by thinking there's no threat. Gather your peeps, forget your crap, and GET MOVING!
Here's a classic example of not reacting appropriately. A few months back we had a tornado pass by VERY close to our home. I don't have much experience with tornados so I was up on the front deck watching the storm. When my husband came to find me he asked, "what are you doing up here?!" I replied completely taken back with his concern, "I'm listening to that thunder. Can you hear it? It just keeps rolling on and on." He took my hand and said, "that's the tornado-we need to get inside and into the basement." OPPS. But remember I'm a California girl, earthquakes? I got it. Tornados? Apparently, not so much. But I share this story so you realize it's easy to react without the appropriate concern because we just don't want to feel like we're in any danger. Personally, I'd rather have you leaving the store or area after perceiving a dangerous situation than hanging around to confirm it is!
Our thoughts and prayers go out to all affected by these horrible acts of violence. I hope these tips give you some piece of mind. For more information, please don't hesitate to contact us.