The Ohio State University is home to historic landmarks and lifelong traditions. But in an instant this scenic campus could become the backdrop to a scene that happens all too often across the country. Chances are you’ll never face a situation like this one. But if you do, you need to be prepared. I’m here to help you improve your chances of surviving an active shooter incident. The Ohio State University Police train countless hours to be prepared for emergency situations such as this. Our number one priority is to keep you safe. Make no mistake, you can survive an active shooter incident by remembering and planning ahead to take three important steps. If an active shooter or similar incident requires the campus community to stay safe, our Emergency Management Division will send what’s called a Buckeye Alert. These are often sent via text message as soon as possible after determining that a threat exists. A Buckeye Alert will contain the most accurate information available at the time, but an active shooter situation evolves rapidly and known details may be limited. That is why it’s important for you to remain observant and use your senses to be attentive to your surroundings at all times. If you encounter an active shooter or receive a Buckeye Alert affecting your area the first and best option to survive is run. Get out. Quickly and safely evacuate the area. If you can get out, do it. Scatter and run. Get as far away as you can. Once you’re safe call 911. 911 where is your emergency? Make sure you tell the 911 operator, who may be located within the City’s dispatch center, that you are on Ohio State’s campus. Running away should always be your first priority. But what happens if you hear gunshots and you’re unable to get out? Your second reaction should be to hide. If you’re in a room lock the door. Look for something to barricade entry points. Turn off lights. Silence your cell phone. The idea is to make it as hard as possible for the shooter to see you, find you or get to you. And always spread out. Don’t huddle together. That creates one easy target. We’re sending the alert now. The alert says the shooter is in the building. If running isn’t an option and hiding isn’t an option, there’s one final reaction that you should only use as a last resort if confronted by the shooter. Fight. Find anything to use as a weapon. A fire extinguisher, a chair. Fighting back is a last resort, but if it’s between you and the shooter we want you to survive. When preparing yourself mentally for this fight, remember something. Statistically active shooters are apprehended or eliminated within the first five minutes of the incident. Once notified, our officers will respond to stop the shooter. You only need to fight until they do, and that could be ten seconds away, the most important ten seconds of your life. It’s scary to think about, but an active shooter is something that we all need to be prepared for. Whether you’re a student or member of our faculty or staff, take time to know your surroundings. Know at least two exits out of your room and building. Take different routes into and out of your building to become familiar with every possible escape route. Look around in the room you’re in right now. Find areas where you could hide or items you could use as weapons. Three simple words could save lives.