Sunday, August 12, 2012

Tragedy and Writing

by Donna K. Weaver

This is kind of creepy, I know, but here's some good information shared by my county after the tragedy in Aurora about what to do if you're ever in a situation where there's an active shooter. And after what happened in Wisconsin, I decided to share.

After last week's shooting at a movie theater in Aurora, Colo., the city of Houston has released a how-to video on surviving an active shooter event. The video was created with funds from the Homeland Security Department. Entitled "Run, Hide, Fight," the video depicts a fictional shooting incident at an office building. Watching this video could save your life. 

This video is well done and would be good information to both know and share with others where appropriate.

The City of Houston's website offers these tips: 
  • Run if a safe path is available. Always try and escape or evacuate even if others insist on staying.
  • Encourage others to leave with you but don't let the indecision of others slow down your own effort to escape.
  • Once you are out of the line of fire, try to prevent others from walking into the danger zone and call 9-1-1.
  • If you can't get out safely, find a place to hide. 
  • When hiding, turn out lights, remember to lock doors and silence your ringer and vibration mode on your cell phone As a last resort, working together or alone, act with aggression, use improvised weapons and fight.
Houston's Public Safety Office said it had started working on the video before the theater shooting.

Click here to view the video. It kind of got my blood pumping to watch it.

So what does this have to do with writing? Knowing how the real police work--like did you consider before watching the video that the first police people on the scene would NOT be there to help victims?--plays a role in our writing.

What kind of resources do you use?


Anonymous said...

I cannot believe you used a recent tragedy as a tool for improving writing. Are you that desperate?

Weaver said...

You have an interesting take on my post, Anonymous. For one thing, I decided to share this information because too often anymore people can really find themselves in a situation where they might need it. So, I consider this post a public service announcement more than anything else. For another thing, art always imitates life. There's not a book out there that doesn't draw from the real life experiences or thoughts of the authors or their friends or from things they've seen in the news.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

People need to know what to do. And you're right, the first officers on the site will be there to take the shooter down first.

Anonymous said...

I replayed the tragedy over in my mind and when I went to the movies this weekend, actually mapped out how I would /attack/ someone if there was something like that going on.

I'm not backing down. I refuse to back down if confronted. I have people to protect.

And this totally has to do with writing because everything in writing comes from life, which anon apparently doesn't have. P_P

Christine Rains said...

Interesting post. People do need to know what to do, and it helps to have it in your head before something horrible like that happens because you'll likely not be thinking clearly when it does.