Opinion: Lockdown survival guide

Neville Hardman is a sophomore magazine journalism major and columnist for the Daily Kent Stater.  Contact her at [email protected].

Neville Hardman

Wednesday night sparked anxiety and suspense across campus as a gun was shot into the ground near Bowman Hall and the Business Administration building. While there were no injuries to anyone but the shooter, it’s important to know how to protect yourself during these situations, so I’ve put together a short guide to surviving a lockdown.

1. Getting somewhere safe is the most important priority, especially if you’re wandering back to your room like I was when the sirens blasted. Find a location with a door that locks, sit on the ground and absolutely stay in place.

2. Keep yourself in the loop. Stay informed, especially if you’re alone. It’s crucial to try to get as much detail as possible about the situation. Kent State offers Flash Alerts, which sends emergency information to your phone. You can sign up at: https://www.getrave.com/login/kent.

3. Call your friends. Seriously, call them or text them. Make sure they’re not tramping through campus unknowingly so you can prevent them from getting into a bad situation.

4. Relax. Take a breath and remind yourself there is not a lot you can do at this point, but also that it’s OK to be scared. Just cut out the heavy breathing that will imminently cause a panic attack and let the professionals handle this.

5. Check social media. Most of what you will be scrolling through will be assumptions, but hitting the refresh button on Facebook and Twitter can help put together possible clues to what’s going on. It’s also a great way to check on your friends and neighbors and see photos of the situation. Someone even posted a link to a police scanner that allowed students to be able to listen to status updates on the situation.

6. Eat all of the food — really —because you’re not going anywhere soon. Comfort eating can be the best eating if you’re having a freak out, especially if you’re hunkering down in your residence hall for two hours.

7. Be thankful. These situations are pros at catching us off-guard and inducing panic, but they remind us to never stop being thankful for others. Our society puts too much emphasis on material things, so when these situations happen, we’re flooded with worry for those we know. Wake up thankful, not just when something threatens your bubble.

8. Attend an A.L.I.C.E. training. It teaches students how to appropriately respond to shooters by using tactics such as alerting, lockdowns, informing, countering and evading. According to the A.L.I.C.E. Training Institute, this sequence is not a list intended to be completed but rather offers a variety of options someone can use to be safe in a dangerous situation.

Bowman Hall was a trending topic on Twitter Wednesday evening. The news even caught the attention of several media outlets, such as Fox, ABC and WKBN.