How to prepare for a life-threatening situation

- The mass shooting in Las Vegas comes just days ahead of the Austin City Limits music festival.

FOX 7 spoke with a security expert about how people can avoid, respond to and survive a life-threatening situation.

This weekend about 70 thousand people will gather at Zilker Park to listen to some of their favorite musicians and Interim Austin police Chief Brian Manley said among the crowd will be plenty of city, state and federal law enforcement officers.

“We live in a world now where you cannot protect against every single threat, we've seen that with people getting in vehicles and driving them into crowds, we've seen that in what happened in Las Vegas last night. So, as a police department, with all of our partners; federal, state and local, we are working to address every threat that we can, but that's also why we're emphasizing the importance of personal safety and the steps the community can take,” Manley said.

Security trainer and Black Tree Experience President Charles Chester suggested people consider how to get out of the area if a threat were to present itself. That includes looking for exits and knowing where they lead.

“You need to know how to get out of a situation and, if those exits aren't available, what other means do I have for escape?” said Chester. 

As victims in Las Vegas found out, sometimes there is nowhere to hide. In that case Chester said to create as much distance from gunfire as possible. 
“Run, run as fast as you can,” Chester said. 

Chester said it also helps to be on the lookout for anything or anyone suspicious and get familiar with the sound of gunfire.

“Gun fights in Hollywood don't sound anything like they do in real life and that's one thing you should really know, how does a gun sound?” said Chester.  

The more prepared you are before a life-threatening situation occurs, the more likely you are to survive it.
That's why Austin police have spent the last few years increasing their response plans as well.

“Years ago the department formed our Counter Assault Strike Team and this is a group of officers that have received advanced training in responding to active shooter incidents like this, on top of our SWAT team that has the highest level of tactical training and the highest level of protective gear and equipment,” Manley said.

Black Tree offers a security and situational awareness course for civilians, but Chester said those who don't have time to take a class should at least do some research on the internet.

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