Do you know how you would survive if a gunman starts firing bullets in your bar or restaurant? In essence, your best plan can be summed up three ways: Run, hide or fight.

ESCAPE – Getting as far away as possible immediately should be your first concern. If that’s not possible, you should HIDE someplace with a durable, lockable door. A bathroom is not a good choice, unless the door is substantial. 

If there’s nowhere to run or hide, you’ve got one option left: FIGHT. Fight hard for your life and don’t stop until either you are unable or the assailant has been stopped and the attack has been ended.

A common and critical mistake made by many restaurants or fast food outlets, is not having ALL EXITS clearly marked and lighted. Most restaurants will have signs above main exits, but in an active shooter scenario, one of those may have been the shooter’s entry point. The best course of action is to use less obvious exits, such as back doors, windows, trash exits or the kitchen. ALL potential exits should be clearly marked. Practice evacuation and designate a rally point far from the scene so that you can account for all the workers.

Being aware of every exit is integral to being in any environment, even a fast food restaurant or a dining establishment. Unfortunately, many restaurants and fast food outlets are not designed with these scenarios in mind and often doors are blocked with trash and other items, which prevent quick egress. 

Create a Plan Now – Think, Practice and Discuss … it’s too late once it’s happening to wonder what you should do.