A double mass shooting last week has forced many U.S. businesses to question their “It couldn’t happen here” beliefs. One in El Paso, Texas, targeted Walmart back-to-school shoppers; one in Dayton, Ohio, targeted a popular nightlife district.
“We used to worry about school shootings – a big thing since Columbine and Sandy Hook – but just listen to the news now,” says Marc Greenstein, an active-shooter seminar presenter with Sheepdog Consulting Group who recently trained Florida Realtors®’ staff in the Orlando office. “People who went to Walmart weren’t expecting to be in an active killer event, nor were people who went to a Garlic Festival. They were just like Realtors who sit in their office every day. The next occurrence can happen anywhere, anytime.”
Buyers and sellers face a lot of stress, and many home sales result from complicated family issues. While the chances an active shooter will strike any specific brokerage are extremely low, preparation is key should it occur.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has information online to help businesses and individuals prepare for an active-shooter situation, and they’re trying to raise awareness about prevention. Most Americans learned “Stop, drop and roll,” in elementary school – an easy-to-remember set of instructions in case of fire. Homeland Security hopes a similar phrase will soon be just as effective dealing with an active-shooter situation: “Run, hide, fight.”
“They want ‘run, hide, fight’ to be an automatic response,” says Greenstein. If you’re in a Walmart, at a festival or sitting at your desk at work, those three words should pop into your mind the second something happens. “Though I changed it up,” adds Greenstein. He believes “barricade” should be an additional step individuals take if it’s feasible.
“Be vigilant,” says Greenstein. “Have a situational awareness. Don’t walk around like a zombie. Know where you are. Know exits. Know what you’re getting into and trust your intuitions. If something seems bad, it probably is.”
Greenstein says Realtors may email him if they have any questions.
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