Are You Prepared? Here’s What You Should Do in an Emergency

Are You Prepared? Here's What You Should Do in an Emergency

Story By: Jimmy Heng, Reporter

Do you have a personal plan for survival?

José G. Flores, chief of police for the State Center Community College District begs this   question.

If your answer is no, you are not alone.

Many Fresno City College students say they are yet to solidify a plan in the event of an active shooter.

Flores said that everyone must think of that eventuality. He emphasized that students and staff have a greater chance of surviving an active shooter incident if they are aware of exits, places to hide, places to run, and their general surroundings.

“If you don’t think about those things before the event, you’ll freeze,” Flores said. “The guys that become superheroes are the people that thought about it and trained for it.”

Flores said that if a shooting occurs, individuals should find cover.  He stressed that cover — concrete, bricks, and cement — will stop a bullet.   He added that if cover is not available, people should hide, barricade entrances, and dial 911, or 5911, for the campus police.

“I’m not sure what I would do in the moment,” said Sky Hinrichs, a student at FCC. “I suppose I would try to run or hide or fight if it came down to it.”

Flores said everyone needs to be ready to fight for their life if they are forced to. He suggests that attackers will always want to choose the path of least resistance, so resisting through biting, scratching, or eye-gouging, will save your life. Anything can be improvised as a weapon for self-defense.

“I do always have the fear,” said English major, Amelia Gill, “that someone on campus might do the same thing that the guy did in Vegas.”

The Las Vegas shooting in which 58 people died is a reminder that danger exists around every corner.

According to a New York Times article, between 2000 and 2006, mass shootings on average occurred 6.4 times each year. From 2007 to 2013, it increased to 16.4 shootings per year, more than doubling the number of casualties from mass shootings in America.

The increased number of mass shootings in America makes students more fearful.

Flores said the police department has taken measures to train all staff and students in the district on how to act and react in the possibility of a shooting.

“We all have to become heroes,” He said.

He reiterates that shootings can happen anywhere and that one always needs to be prepared. This mental exercise should be practiced for any circumstance. Shootings are not the only emergency that people must be ready for.  He said even law enforcement must train constantly and differently.

Flores said officers used to be trained to secure an area and wait for backup, but that these situations are treated differently now.

“We will run to the threat and we will do everything we can to neutralize the threat,” he said.

The campus also has an emergency notification system that will inform students about emergency situations. Flores says that not enough students are using this service which ensures students are kept away from danger.

Every classroom at Fresno City College features a poster which explains what to do with several hazards such as fires, chemicals, earthquakes and active shooters. The poster shows a map of the campus with the buildings and their location and layout.

Awareness and understanding of this poster when on campus allows civilians to provide law enforcements with the necessary information to locate and assist those in need. Emergencies can come when one least expects it.

“It can happen anywhere. Don’t fear the school,” Flores said. “Have a holistic plan for survival, something that would work anywhere you are– not just for active shooters, but all kinds of hazards.”