Breaking News
More () »

Security expert explains how you can protect yourself in an active shooter situation

"It's hard to prepare for something you don't expect. So your reaction is going to be raw. It's going to be terrifying. It's going to be overwhelming."

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The harsh reality is anyone can find themselves in the middle of a mass shooting. However, with each shooting, the situation can be different. 

Nonetheless, experts say the main priority is knowing what to do so you can come out of it alive while protecting your family and those around you. If you're caught in the middle of a shooting like the one in Monterey Park, the feeling can be chaotic and scary.

"It's hard to prepare for something you don't expect, so your reaction is going to be raw. It's going to be terrifying. It's going to be overwhelming. But then, what is your response?" said Hector Alvarez, a security expert with more than 25 years of experience in violence prevention and response.

Alvarez utilizes FBI videos with demonstrations to train and prepare businesses and clients for active shooter situations. It talks about “Run, Hide, Fight.”

The first thing you want to do is identify where the violence is coming from and make sure you're going the other way.

"The safest thing for you may be to duck down and hide behind something solid that will stop bullets. The safest thing for you in that situation may be to run away and hide in a closet that's solid," said Alvarez. 

If there are no other options, that's when you can choose to fight. As an example, he noted the man deemed a hero after disarming the Monterey Park shooter.

He says the problem is no one can tell you exactly what to do because every situation is different. 

It’s also important to always identify exit options and items that you can use to fight back.

"I cannot overstate the importance of having a discussion over dinner... sitting down with people. You know, if something occurs, what are we gonna do? How are you gonna communicate with each other?" said Alvarez. 

Alvarez says the key to stopping one of these shooters is to speak up if you are concerned with someone's behavior. 

Sadly, he says he's heard it all too often that someone knew there was a problem but didn't do anything about it. 


Before You Leave, Check This Out