Run-Hide-Fight: What to do in an active shooter situation

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) - We never think it will happen at our school, church, or workplace. but what if it does?

"Somebody that just wants to kill as many people as possible for no apparent reason, or out of their own frustration, makes no sense to you or I," said Jeff Poe, training advisor for the Huntsville Police Training Academy.

The Department of Homeland Security has a 3-part answer

Step one:

"Run, get away from the area if at all possible, don't stop until you're in a safe area," said Poe.

Step two:

"The next thing you want to do is hide, and when you hide you want to get out of the shooters view," said Curtis Summerville, spokesman for the Alabama Law Enforcement Association (ALEA).

"Hiding doesn't mean I crawl into a ball and get under this desk," said Poe. "That's not an effective way to hide. That just makes me a stationary target."

Lock and barricade doors, put phones on vibrate, and make the quietest 911 call possible. Dramatic as it may seem -- these are life-saving tactics.

Step three:

"If this person gets to you, fight with everything that you have," said Poe.

Use any and everything at your disposal.

"If you get into that position where you have to fight, if you can use a chair, your shoe, anything you can use to protect yourself, go ahead and use that," said Summerville.

Know that police can take ten minutes to arrive, and there's so much you can do in that window. The life you save may not only be your own, but those of others.