Last week, the City of Houston’s Office of Public Safety, with grants from the Department of Homeland Security, posted a video called RUN. HIDE. FIGHT: Surviving an Active Shooter Event as part of their Ready Houstoninitiative. It’s a professionally done, six minute instructional video about what to do if someone were to open fire at the office.
The video was actually produced two weeks before the movie theater incident in Aurora, CO that took the lives of 12 civilians and wounded many more. Soon after the shooting, Mayor Annise Parker and Dennis Storemski, the Director of the Office of Public Safety, had the video posted within a week, stating that “knowledge is power in a situation such as Aurora.”
I have to admit when I first saw the video title I recoiled, wondering “have we come to this as a society?” But within a second, I had to stop what I was doing and watch the video, because I needed to know. Then I had the feeling to share it with all my coworkers. Then I had the feeling to blog it on the internets.
What was your reaction when you learned that a city is promoting tips to survive a workplace shooting? Have you ever considered what you would do if you were ever caught in this kind of situation? Should the government sponsor initiatives of this kind, or is it going too far?
In this digital age with social media, we rely on people at the scene to provide us with up-to-date information during extreme situations. Then we rely on creative and technically-skilled people to create tools to present data in a meaningful way. Then we rely on social media influencers to distribute the knowledge to rest of us. But all of this happens AFTER the emergency. Perhaps it’s the government’s role to empower us BEFORE anything ever takes place?