Survival tips in wake of domestic terrorism attack - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Survival tips in wake of domestic terrorism attack

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) -

With a steady and disturbing trend of active shooter situations taking lives across the country, experts say you might want to be prepared.

While military personnel are trained to handle a possible attack, many recruiting officers are in civilian areas like the Armed Forces recruiting center in Columbus.

"Currently determinations are being made if we need to be able to review any force protection procedures and security awareness," said Kelli Bland with the U.S. Army Recruiting Command.

Army representatives are considering boosting security measures in the wake of a Chattanooga rampage that took the lives of four marines at a recruiting office on Thursday.

While most recruiters are typically unarmed, "They regularly receive active shooter and anti-terrorism training, to always know what to look for and to know how to react in a variety of threatening situations," said Bland.

Like the targeted Chattanooga office, the armed forces recruit center in Columbus rests in a strip mall, next to the Peachtree shopping center.
Meaning if a similar act of domestic terrorism were to strike here, untrained civilians could end up in the cross hairs.

"Unfortunately my initial reaction is we have another shooter attacking a gun-free zone," said Michael Skinner with Armed Reaction Tactics.

The local business trains people to protect themselves and explain that if you hear shots ring out and are not in immediate danger you will want to hide and barricade yourself.

If a shooter is in a close vicinity you'll want to run to an exit in the opposite direction of the gunman, and remember a large crowd will bottle neck at exits so look for uncrowded options of escape.

Officials say fighting should be a last resort, but could save lives.

"When a police officer receives the call shots have already been fired, people are already being shot. The sooner someone's able to protect themselves, or others, the better. So if we have individuals who are carrying the weapons and are able to defend themselves or others, that's the quickest way to stop that situation," said Skinner.

Officials also recommend families creating an escape plan for regular public places they visit in case a shooting breaks out.

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