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The 4 As: How to survive an active shooter

MELBOURNE, Fla. — In light of mass shootings across the country, Sheriff Wayne Ivey of the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office has put together a video on how to survive a shooting.

“Sometimes bad people do bad things that are intended to harm others,” Ivey says in the video. “Their motivations are different and the warning signs may even vary, but without question, the devastating effects are always the same.

“We need to be prepared for the worst.”

How do you protect yourself in a situation such as the Las Vegas shooting on Oct. 2 or the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando in June 2016?

The 4 As: Awareness, Avoidance, Arm and Attack

“The best law enforcement agencies in the country have response times in minutes,” the sheriff says in the 5-minute video. “A violent criminal could take your life in seconds.”

Here are Ivey’s tips on how to survive an active shooter:

• Awareness: Know your surroundings and routinely ask yourself, “what if?” Look for exits, potential items that can be used as a weapon and areas that can be used as a cover.

• Avoidance: Always try and escape or evacuate. Encourage others to leave with you. Remember what’s important: You, not your personal belongings. Put distance between yourself and the threat. There’s a difference between hiding and barricading yourself. Turn out lights, silence cellphones and be prepared to attack. If there are multiple people in the room, spread out to attack from different angles.

• Arm: If you have a concealed carry permit and the venue allows you to carry your gun, then by all means you should have your gun with you. Be prepared to defend yourself. When the prey is armed, the predator thinks twice. Fight for survival and think of possible weapons around you — knife, scissors, fire extinguishers, chairs, lamp, etc.

• Attack: Attack and fight like your life depends on it. Aim for the head area so the suspect becomes distracted. Commit to taking the shooter down no matter what. Make sure your actions never put other innocent bystanders at risk.

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