DOTHAN, Ala. (WTVY) Active shootings are unpredictable and quick lasting only a couple of minutes.
In those scary moments authorities want you to remember three things; Run, hide and fight.
No matter where you are, be aware of your surroundings.
“If you see something unusual or doesn't look right then obviously you want to call and report that,” says Dothan Lieutenant Jason Penn.
At the first sign of an active shooting threat, find a way out.
“If it's safe to do so, you've identified a safe escape route then obviously you want to run and get somewhere you're safe offsite,” says Penn.
If that's not possible, hide.
“Find a room you can get in, lock the door, push heavy furniture up against the door, turn the lights out, silence your phones,” says Penn.
You should stay hidden even after help arrives.
“Don't come out just because you think the event is over. Once everything is safe we will go around and clear every room and look for every possible spot to look for people may be hiding,” says Penn.
If all else fails, fight for your life.
Anything can be used as makeshift weapons to disrupt or incapacitate a shooter including furniture and tools.
According to authorities, within the past 10 years, about 14% of active shooters have been stopped by unarmed civilians.
“It is possible that's a small number I know they still those people banned together and helped save lives,” says Penn.
Those who choose to carry guns for protection should know their skill level.
“Make sure that you practice and train so that you are proficient in using that weapon,” says Penn.
The Dothan Police Department does active shooting classes for businesses and once the new public safety center opens in January, civilian firearm safety classes will be held.