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Run, Hide Fight is “Not A Plan”

The federal government through Department of Homeland Security coined a term “Run, Hide, Fight” as an easily to remember guide to response during an active shooter scenario.  This was never intended for elementary or even middle school/junior high school as a viable solution to an active shooter event.  “Run, Hide, Fight” is not a plan but a reactionary effort after an active shooter scenario is in progress.  It is the same effort as the slogan “Fall and Roll” in the event you catch on fire.  It is better if more attention, time and resources are applied beforehand to prevent from catching on

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Mind Set: Well, Something is better than Nothing!

My last blog discussed the “piecemeal approach” to active shooter security and physical security in general. During discussions at trade shows, conventions and site visits, there has been a pervasive general approach to the development of active shooter protection measures. Again, either planning for the last active shooter event or hearing/learning that one organization is adopting this or that measure or procedure, especially if low cost and then also adopting that measure. Recurring theme: This Something is better than Nothing. I cannot disagree with that statement depending on what “Something” is. However, does it really provide any measurable increase in

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Piecemeal Approach to Active Shooter Security

A Superintendent of a school system announced the school district’s policy of equipping each classroom with a 5-gallon bucket of “river rocks”. These rocks are about the size of a baseball and, if properly used, is certainly “better than nothing”. What else comes to mind? Maybe, it is a bad idea to come to a gunfight with a rock? One thought is, if the active shooter was ever a student at that school, he would know about the rocks and could easily come dressed with baseball catcher protective equipment to reduce the rocks impacts (just like professional baseball catchers who

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SUBJECT: Basis for Non-Powered Opening of Shelter

The design and development of the VAST6 was based on determining the operational requirements and parameters to achieve the protection level for an active shooter event and tornado event. The physical protection requirements are roughly the same for active shooter and for protection for a direct hit by tornado. The primary difference is the amount of time one might have to relocate for a tornado but that is not a good procedure for an active shooter event. Departing the classroom, one may run into the active shooter(s) or into a dead-end location and become trapped without adequate protection. Our first

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Thesis research on Planning for Urban Schools

During online research of active shooters, terrorist attacks and hostage situations in schools, a Thesis paper from the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California was located. The subject title was “Thesis on Homeland Security Planning for Urban Area Schools”, authored by Craig A. Gjelsten with a publication date of March 2008. Below are some of the pulled quotes that I found enlightening or interesting. Introduction Section: Schools in the United States are at risk of a terrorist attack, and the country is unprepared. The recent history of terrorist attacks illustrates that the methodology and audacity of terrorists are evolving and

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FEMA’s Pre-Disaster Mitigation (PDM) Grants

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has the PDM Program to help communities to prepare for various disaster events to include Active Shooter events. Below are some more pulled quotes from a FEMA brochure to assist in the understanding of the PDM Grant program and their insights into addressing Pre-Disaster Mitigation plans/efforts. The PDM Program, authorized by Section 203 of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act, is designed to assist States, territories, Federally-recognized tribes, and local communities in implementing a sustained pre-disaster natural hazard mitigation program. The goal is to reduce overall risk to the population

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Lesson Learned to save our Students and Teachers from an Active Shooter event

There is a very strong example of how to save and protect both students and teachers in the school environment from a possibly deadly threat. This example has worked so good that not a single student has been killed in the United States in over 50 years from this particular event. Fire prevention, fire safety and fire drills have ensured that no student has died in over 50 years. I heard another source stated the last student to die in a school fire was in 1958 but I cannot verify that. When schools were heated with wood, oil or coal

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Emergency Egress Door

The development of an emergency egress door is rather straight forward and simple. FEMA P-361 does not require the emergency egress door but leaves it up to the local authorities/ decision makers. However, if such an egress door is required, a minimum size is required. P-361, Page 3-11 (Design and Construction Guidance for Community Safe Rooms, August 2008) p) Where the applicable building code requires only one means of egress door, an emergency escape opening should be provided. The emergency escape opening should be an additional door or an opening that is a minimum of 5.7 square feet in area.

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Two Hour Standby Power Back-up for Tornado and Active Shooter events

The FEMA guidelines for Tornado protection are numerated in FEMA P-361, Design and Construction Guidance for Community Safe Rooms, Second Edition, August 2008. Paragraph 8.10, entitled Standby Power on page 8-12 states: “The ICC-500 standard requires standby power systems to be designed to provide the required output capacity for a minimum of 2 hours and to support the mechanical ventilation system, when applicable.” Another US government agency, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in their Natural Disasters and Severe Weather – Tornado section stated: “Injury may result from the direct impact of a tornado, or it may occur afterward when

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Lessons Learned from Terrorist Attacks on Schools

A couple of years ago I heard that an terrorist attack on the Belsan School in Russia on 1 September 2004 was a “dress rehearsal” for terrorist attacks on American schools. I started searching for the quote and found a book review (SOURCE) by Frank Borelli about a book entitled “Terror at Belsan: A Russian Tragedy with Lessons for America’s Schools ” written by John Giduck, published in 2005. The short version is the terrorists held the school for 3 days and Russian military attacked, resulting in a death toll of 385 (186 children, parents, 35 terrorists and 11 Special

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