Survival Techniques – Threat of Violence 

Survival techniques vary from situation to situation and no checklist can ever address every situation. However, familiarizing yourself with certain basic personal-protection concepts may provide you with a helpful level of confidence, in the event you find yourself in an extreme situation.

Mentally exploring recommended options during a crisis provides focus with a sense of purpose and drive. Establishing tasks and goals during a crisis reduces the chance of panic and hysteria and increases your chance of survival.

General Safety Recommendations

  • Utilize your cell phone speed dial.
  • Be alert of your surroundings. Pay attention to windows/doorways/stairwells and escape routes.
  • Travel along walls both indoors and outdoors, and stay behind objects for the purpose of concealment.
  • Concentrate on your observations during the crisis; you may be able to provide important information to police. Focus on physical descriptions, clothing, weapons, number of shots fired, and the direction of movement by the individuals in question. 


  • Always determine your closest evacuation route (also applicable to fire safety).
  • Clear hallways and stairwells, and if possible head toward exits.
  • Depending on your location, consider escaping via a window. If necessary, use available items to break out windows. Once you make the decision to escape, though, do not hesitate; breaking the window may bring an unwanted response.
  • Running makes you a difficult target (zig-zag).
  • If fired upon in an open space, lie on the ground thereby reducing your physical exposure and crawl.
  • If a fire alarm is activated, use caution when evacuating the building, it may be a rouse to get you to an open space.

Shelter in Place

  • Seek cover and hide. Utilize closets/desks/cabinets/small spaces to minimize your exposure.
  • Look; listen.
  • Attempt to secure/lock as many doors and windows as possible.
  • Close window coverings.
  • Turn off lights.
  • Remain quiet.
  • Set cell phones/pagers to silent mode.
  • If possible, separate into smaller groups and different rooms.
  • Use every item available to you to set up barricades/obstacles or to fabricate weapons.
  • Do not congregate in any area.
  • Attempt to communicate your location and condition via cell, in-house phones or email to Public Safety and police. 
  • Assist disabled persons.
  • Maintain cover while listening for rescuers.