Active Assailant Attacks: Concealment

Now is the time to figure out the second-best places to conceal yourself or use concealment features to hide from an active assailant threat at your location. True, we understand this is not something you really want to have to think about – but just as we recommend to always figure out two different exits from every place you go, you should have a plan for where you would go if you had to run and/or hide as part of of the “Run, Hide, Fight” actions associated with a Lockdown or other incident where you need to protect yourself from harm.

Think of an active assailant (active shooter) like you would a radioactive bomb – you want to get away from it as quickly as possible – increasing the distance between you and the threat. And when you cannot, you will want to use shielding to help protect you, until you can get away.

The best option is to not be there (evacuate!) at all, but sometimes there is not enough time or distance between you and the threat for this to work – so you have to consider hiding (also known as shielding). If you have to hide from a threat, the better option is locations that provide Cover. Cover has physical protective properties that concealment does not.

Having a full cinderblock wall between you and the threat is a form of Cover. Having just a curtain – or even a drywall wall or fabric partition of a cubicle is only Concealment.

Adding Distance, Cover and Concealment to provide safety

What is key about Concealment is that it provides only some protection against the attacker, as long as they cannot find you.

Concealment is better than just being out in the open, but not as good as Cover. When evacuating, stay low and near solid objects that can provide you cover. If you have to stop, put the solid object between you and the assailant.

2017 Las Vegas Concert Shooting – Note that there were very few areas of Concealment, let along Cover, based on height and angle of shooter location. Source: Wall Street Journal


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