City of Houston Produces Video About Surviving a Workplace Shooter

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?

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Jerry Schmidt


Sadly this sort of video is now necessary. There are people who place no value on human life and there are those who feel that government is to blame, so they add these together like some twisted equation and come up with the idea that it’s better to hurt other people (who, in all likelihood, had little or nothing to do with their situation.)

Several years ago, there was an incident in my hometown. An individual went on a shooting rampage inside a federal courthouse in 1993. He killed one person and blew himself up, probably by mistake. My brother was in teh building, inside an office (he was an IRS enforcement agent at the time and had weapons readily available) but there was confusion for several hours.

I don’t think it’s necessarily the government’s role to empower me. I have to realize that there are people like this madman and so many others and I need to be aware of my surroundings and aware of what’s going on around me. This video isn’t a bad idea at all. It reminds people that there are those out there that have no respect for human life and to be aware, not afraid.

Jon Lee

Hi Jerry, thank you for your comment. I’m glad your brother was okay. I wonder how effective this video would have been in the heat of the moment…

David Dejewski

I took the FEMA active shooter course and find this video not only in line with the course, but excellent for getting the main points across. I’d recommend this video to anyone interested in preparedness.

As the community manager for The Prepared Community – an online community site similar to this one, but focused on Preparedness – I’ve just posted this video as the featured video on our main page. Many thanks for posting this. It’s an awesome video!

Samuel Lovett

I was definitely startled too when watching this video for the first time — but true that it’s important to be prepared with the right knowledge and set of actions if in an emergency situation.

Jon Lee

Hi Samuel, yes, I think most of us have that reaction. We have to open our eyes and accept this is the kind of world we live in, I guess.