Reporting Diana Rocco
By Diana Rocco
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The deadly shooting at the New Castle County Courthouse in Wilmington, Delaware earlier this month highlights the need to be prepared.
Would you know what to do if a gunman came into your workplace?
The images are hard to forget when lone gunmen struck at Virginia Tech, the Colorado movie theater in Aurora, Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut and most recently the courthouse in Wilmington, Delaware.
People anywhere can suddenly become the target of a crazed gunman.
Police call the scenario an ‘active shooter’ situation.
Now, from the Department of Homeland Security to the city of Houston, training videos are popping up with step-by-step instructions on what you should do in a life or death situation.
Businesses across the country are showing them to their employees.
The videos are a simulation of a so-called “active shooter event” and lay out a plan for survival.
Houston’s production is called Run, Hide, Fight.
And authorities in Delaware say it should be shown to people in every workplace.
“In today’s world they do need to think about the unthinkable,” says Lewis Schiliro, who is Cabinet Secretary of Delaware’s Department of Safety and Homeland Security.
“The nature of these kinds of events are just horrific in terms of the damage that can be caused within a relatively short amount of time,” said Schiliro.
The Houston demonstration stresses that surviving an active shooter may depend on whether or not you have a plan.
The advice is straightforward, telling people that the first step is to escape if you can and immediately call 9-1-1.
Next, the video advises people to leave belongings behind and if you can’t get out, you are to hide.
Viewers are told to secure that hiding place by barricading doors, turning off lights and silencing cell phones.
The goal, according to the video, is to do anything to buy yourself time.
And, as a last resort people are instructed to fight back, using whatever weapon can be found such as scissors or even a fire extinguisher.
“I think today after 9/11 people are much more willing to, when the situation presents itself, as a step of last resort to take action,” said Schiliro.
Colleges are also planning for the worst.
The University of Delaware has its own video which is shown at freshmen orientation.
“Statistics prove if you think about your reaction prior to an event, you are more likely to act, therefore more likely to survive, that’s really what we’re trying to do for our students,” said Marcia Nickel, the University’s Emergency Preparedness Coordinator.
Many other universities throughout the country have similar videos in an effort to save lives.