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Preparing for an emergency like the Las Vegas shootings

Kathryn Janicek Post Image
Picture courtesy of ABC News

My prayers are with you – especially if you had friends or family hurt in the Las Vegas murders. My prayers are with all of us as we keep going forward after each shooting. After each mass casualty.

After any major event, experts are needed for the media coverage.

A few hours into the Las Vegas coverage Monday, I started working on a project for a Chicago TV booker. She was searching for law enforcement professionals for an interview regarding the shooting.

After 20+ years in media, I know lots of good men and women who are currently in or retired from law enforcement.

I reached out to former Chicago Deputy Police Chief, Joe Gandurski, to see if he was available to do some TV.

This isn’t something we want to think about — but here is what the former deputy police chief suggests you do to plan for an emergency like the Las Vegas shootings.

Please read and share this post with your friends. I hope you never have to use this information.

First, here’s the link to the segment I booked Gandurski on. He was live on Chicago’s WCIU-TV yesterday morning.

Now, here are the details from former Deputy Chicago Police Chief, Joe Gandurski, so you can easily share them with friends:

The main goal in any such situation is to survive it. In some of the school shootings simply locking the classroom door was sufficient to save many. In a situation like Las Vegas, a person needs to do whatever he or she can to survive, there are thousands of people in the venue. No one knows what is going on, there is a good while before the situation is grasped, then panic, and what to do? Everyone starts running toward the exits. New possibilities of being trampled, etc. People are dropping around you, no one knows where the shots are coming from, what to do?

The answer to that question is that you use all your instincts and senses and intuition to decide what to do. Your immediate goal is to move from the open to cover, any cover, under the stage, under the sound control area, behind a cement light stand, a concession stand, and then observe and move with the goal of separating yourself distance wise from the shooter as you deem his/her location, a clue is that bodies are not dropping around you. Some folks in Vegas scrambled under cars.

Remember concealment may hide you but may not stop a bullet. Cell phones may be useless with everyone calling. Stay alert, keep a low profile, stay out of the open. If you decide to move, have a place to duck or cover on the way to reach your next position.  Move quickly and not in a straight line.

As a preventative measure, one should always:

  • evaluate the conditions of the venue
  • determine where to go if something like this happens
  • locate the exits
  • avoid wearing flip-flops or heels and wear clothing that allows you to move unrestricted and protects you from debris
  • identify good cover and concealment areas
  • keep your wits about you and be alert
  • be alert to the possibility of multiple shooters at multiple locations
  • be flexible and alert to circumstances as they unfold

The way to help the wounded is to move to safety and report what you saw to authorities. Let them help and treat the wounded. They have equipment and experience. Remember also that law enforcement will be just as confused at the beginning. In this situation, there was probably no way to determine where the shots were coming from for quite a while. When they arrive, they will be looking for information, anyone armed, anyone injured. If you have a weapon in view, you could be shot by responding police.

This is a behavior-changing situation. The idea of going to a concert and getting wasted on alcohol or drugs and having fun is now a risk that people should seriously consider.


Thank you to former Deputy Chicago Police Chief, Joe Gandurski for those tips.

Please share this post with your friends.

Again, I hope you will never have to use this information.

Be safe,