• Kathy Copcutt

WTF To Do When The Unthinkable is Going On!


The world my child is growing up in is not the world I grew up in. I can vividly recall feeling safe going to school, attending family events, or playing in the front yard with my friends, and now, today, it’s the exact opposite. All sense of security has been tampered with, I’m sad that our way of living has been altered by the unstable. The other day we were invited to the LA Zoo, as we were on our way I called our contact to let her know we are running 10 minutes late for check-in. Well, the surprise was on me, she had let me know that there's a suspicious package at one of the ticketing booths and so far, the Zoo is closed, she’ll keep me updated since I was en route. Ten minutes later I receive a call saying that the suspicious package is unidentifiable and the Zoo is will not open, they’ve called for back up to see what’s in the package. My thoughts upon hearing this, I hope everyone that’s there is safe, I’m grateful for our first responders and I’m glad that I wasn’t there.

Here’s the thing, after last weeks Las Vegas shooting, we never know when the next attack is and where it will be. Have you thought about what you would do if there’s an attack and you have your little ones with you? Here are some of the things that I learned when I got home and started researching, “WTF to do when the unthinkable is going on.”

One of the first things I was told by the Las Vegas survivors, I know two and that’s too many. They’re well physically but emotionally a mess. They both said it sounded like firecrackers going off and then mass pandemonium ensued. When you see and or hear things of this magnitude, it gets you thinking, G*D forbid what if something like this happens when we’re with our children? What would you do? How would you react? Would you freeze? Let’s take you step by step...take a deep breath, here we go.

As you walk into any establishment or an outside venue, where ever, know where the exits are, how far are you from the closest escape route? Now you’re at an event and you hear “firecracker” sounds, if you’re not at a Fourth of July picnic, this is your sign to GTFO! I DON’T CARE what you brought with you, ie: stroller, diaper bag, your purse, etc, DO NOT LOOK for your things. Leave it behind, pick up your child, children and bolt. Go the opposite way of the mass running. Recall where the exits are, do not run towards the sound, run away. If you have gone to the event with a friend, have the conversation beforehand that if anything were to happen you will each take your children to safety, if your friend is hit, grab their child with yours and run. The most important thing is that children are safe. Meeting place cannot be the parking lot, that could be compromised. Do not go to your car, run as far away as you possibly can. Wherever you run to, you will find someone that will help you, so again, do not worry about your material things.

If you can’t run, get behind a concrete wall, something that will not pierce through easily. Let your children know to keep quiet even though they will be crying, it is imperative they understand however if they are really young, the truth is they will cry, keep your cool and be their shield. If you’re in the mall food court, jump behind the counter and get in the back of the restaurant establishment, the shooter will most likely not follow you to the back because their number one goal is to shot as many people as they possibly can, following you would cut that down for them. If you’re in the department store and find yourself in the bathroom, block the door with anything you possibly can, jam the door. When you jam the door look up and see if there is a vent that you can crawl through with your kids to get to safety. If you are being shot at, run in zigzag formation, it’s harder to get a direct aim when someone is running zig-zag or straight.

I know I sound like doom and gloom but the way to survive a shooter is to think about before it happens, you have to have a plan. Visualize what you’d do in different circumstances if a shooter were to be somewhere you are. I just gave you the mall scenario, how about at an amusement park, at work, your kids' school? What is your exit plan? One of the main reasons I never post during an event is because I need to be in the moment and being in the moment allows you to be aware of your surroundings. What does that mean for you? Take a few pics with your phone but do not post, if you start posting you’re lost in the moment and a shooting can occur in a split second. Be calm and constantly scan your environment to take in what’s going on, your life depends on it. I’m going to sound horrid right now but here goes, don’t try to move or assist the injured while you’re fleeing. It leaves you vulnerable to an attack, you'll become a statistic and that's not helping anyone.When the first responders arrive at the scene their main goal is to take the shooter out and when that's under control then they help the wounded.Their top priority is to stop the gunman, your top priority is to get to safety with your kids.

Here’s the reality, active shootings are only increasing at an alarming rate and you need to be prepared. If you get a chance to outrun, outsmart the shooter then it’s worth you thinking about all the scenarios imaginable. Think about it every day, everywhere you go, before you enter a building look at all exists, stairs, offices, where you could hide, etc. Just have a heightened sense of security. You’ll be freaking out, rightfully so, and the scenario will be chaos, just know your only goal is to protect your little one, getting them out alive ,means you are getting out alive, have a plan of action.

#WTFToDo

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