In An Active Assailant Situation, What Would You Do?


For Immediate Release

In An Active Assailant Situation, What Would You Do?

Would You Run, Hide, Fight, or Freeze

Silicon Valley, CA – September 25, 2023 – TAL Global, a leading security consulting and risk assessment firm based in Silicon Valley, CA, recently conducted a LinkedIn Poll regarding dealing with an active assailant.

TAL Global asked LinkedIn members the following:

“If an assailant entered your building or office, which of the following do you believe you would do first.” 

Here are the responses:

  • 19 percent said they would run.
  • 17 percent would hide.
  • 13 percent would freeze.
  • 52 percent would fight.

“In a real-life scenario, this is typically not what happens,” says Oscar Villanueva, a Professional Certified Investigator, private investigator, and the Chief Operating Officer for TAL Global.

“Studies find that most of us freeze first in very threatening situations such as an active shooter in a building.”

Villanueva points to a December 2018 study published in The New York Times that found when facing a serious threat of any kind, “we find ourselves frozen, unable to act and think clearly.”  *

The Times article adds that freezing is not a choice. Instead, “it is a built-in impulse controlled by ancient circuits in the brain…and is automatically set into motion by external threats.”

Run, Hide, Fight is a methodology adopted by many police authorities, including the FBI, and taught to building tenants, in work settings and to school children. The essence of it says in an emergency, we should:

·      Run from the area.

·      Hide, if running is not an option.

·      Fight, the last resort.

“While the Run, Hide, Fight method of dealing violence or an assailant situation has served us well,” adds Villanueva, “it does not consider this freezing component, which can result in people getting killed or injured.”

Further, he says that the Run, Hide, Fight approach is reactive. “In today’s violent world, we need a proactive approach to protect individuals and organizations in emergency situations.”

This is why TAL Global has created a new methodology. Called Prepare-React-Recover (PRR), this method focuses on the following:

Prepare: Assessing the preparedness of an organization and identifying where there are security gaps. This is the proactive component.

React: Implement evacuation and lockdown procedures, notify all employees promptly, and monitor the situation until conditions are safe.

Recover: After a violent incident, the goal is to help people and the organization recover from the incident as quickly as possible.

According to Villanueva, PRR includes the best of Run, Hide, Fight, but puts much more focus on preventing – because prevention “is all-important today.”

*“Run, Hide, Fight Is Not How Our Brains Work,” by Joseph Ledoux, published in the New York Times, December 18, 2015.

About TAL Global

TAL Global is an elite security consulting and risk management firm based in Silicon Valley, CA. For more than twenty-five years, the company has been protecting human and physical assets for clients and organizations around the globe. We analyze and mitigate risk, protecting our clients from every vulnerability, inside and out.

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