Saturday, July 21, 2012

Aurora, Colorado Theater Shooting

Aurora, Colorado Theater Shooting
Safety in Public Places

 With the unexpected violence at a movie theater, a place of magic and escape safety comes to mind. First off I must send out my condolences to the families/friends of those that died and prayers for healing to those that were injured. May the Lord grant swift healing and peace.

Do not let fear keep you from doing things you wish. What happened yesterday was not the act of a terrorist. It was the act of a mad man. Still it is normal to feel terror at some level because of what happened.

So how safe is a Disney Park? I will say over all a Disney Park is one of the safer places to be. With security at every entrance to the park it is unlikely that an act of violence on the level of the theater shooting will happen there. Could it happen? It is possible. Is it likely to happen? I don’t believe so. Besides the security at the gates uniformed security with dogs trained to sniff out weapons, explosives and drugs go through the parks looking for dangerous items. Add to the visible level of security undercover security that blends in with the crowds and it is unlikely an act of such heinous proportions could happen in one of the parks.

Let me stop here for a moment and let you know how I know this. Both my husband and I have had training in safety. Our training included general office safety with its making sure the power cords are not a trip hazard to setting up for natural disasters such as earthquakes. There was also some terror and biochemical preparedness and response training. My husband has had many more hours than I have but what he learns I learn by him talking to me about it.

If you are concerned about safety when in public, especially a busy place such as a Disney Park here are some basic things you can do:

1.     Be aware of what is going on around you.

a.    Know where escape exits/routes are.

b.    Be aware of who is around you and keep an eye open for those that do not “fit” or seem to be acting “strange”.

c.    Know where your group members are. Set up an “emergency” meeting spot. This is a spot you can all go back to reconnect if you get separated for any reason. Tell the younger members it is a place to meet if you get lost.

d.    Trust yourself if you feel someone/thing is not right. Predigest is not a bad word! It means to pre judge a situation. It means using wisdom when going into a situation. You pre judge a ride by looking at it. Will that ride be too much for you physically? Will you like it? It is not wrong to use the same practice when in large groups of people.

e.    Know how to identify people that can help. Show your children how to identify security and/or any employee.

2.    Do not put yourself in harm’s way to “save” others. Once you are hurt you can no longer help. Protect yourself so you can help others when it is safe to do so. YOU are the most important person in the situation. If you are hurt someone has to save you as well as the person you tried to help adding to the problem not helping. Avoid the temptation to take pictures until it is safe to do so.

3.    If something happens move quickly to a place of safety. In most cases getting low and out of site is the best thing you can do. Do nothing to attraction to yourself if someone is attacking! Play dead if you must. Call attention to yourself when it is safe.

4.    Be ready to listen to directions of trained security and employees.

5.    Report anyone/thing that seems out of place.

6.    Get basic first aid training. It is always good to be prepared to help when it is safe. More lives are saved by bystanders than by the emergency personal that get there. People need to be kept alive until emergency personal can get to you.

This is good information to know when in any public place but once again I say do not let fear keep you from going about your normal life. Do not let fear stop you from enjoying life to the fullest. My husband and I knew this information before the horror 9/11/01. It did not stop us from going before 9/11. 9/11 did not stop us from going either. We were at the park 9/10/01 and again 9/13/01. The terrorists will not win. Be ready if the unthinkable happens but do not be looking for bad guys in every shadow.

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