By Michelle Graff
New York—For the first time in its 136-year history, the Jewelers’ Security Alliance has issued a bulletin providing recommendations for jewelers on what to do if their store or shopping plaza becomes the scene of a mass shooting.

JSA President John J. Kennedy told National Jeweler Tuesday that every time there has been a mass shooting in the United States in recent years, JSA has gotten a small number of inquires from members, calling up to ask: What do I do if this happens at my place of business?

That happened again this past Monday, after gunmen opened fire over the weekend in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio, leaving a total of 31 dead and dozens wounded.

“This pair of incidents included the site of a retailer, so we viewed it as especially relevant,” Kennedy said.

The mass shooting in Dayton took place on a street in the city’s popular nightlife area, the Oregon District, in the early-morning hours of Sunday, but the El Paso shooting happened in the middle of the day at a Walmart store crowded with shoppers.

JSA said the recommendations it is sharing were reprinted verbatim from a reference guide issued by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. It said jewelry industry employers should share the DHS’s recommendations with employees so everyone knows how to respond.

When there is an active shooter, the DHS says, there are three options: run, hide or fight, which is the least recommended and only to be resorted to “when your life is in imminent danger.”

Those who chose to run should:
Have an escape route and plan in mind;
Leave their belongings behind;
Go, regardless of whether others agree to follow;
Help others escape, if possible;
Prevent others from entering the area where the active shooter is or may be;
Avoid attempting to move anyone who’s wounded;
Keep their hands visible; and
Call 911 when they are safe.

If individuals chose to hide, they should:
Pick an area out of the shooter’s view;
Lock the door or block the entry to their hiding place;
Silence their cell phones (including turning off vibrate mode); and
Remain quiet.

Fighting is a “last resort,” DHS said, and those who chose to do so should:
Attempt to incapacitate the shooter;
Act with as much physical aggression as possible;
Improvise weapons or throw items at the active shooter; and
Commit to their actions, understanding their lives depend on it.

Those who are able to call 911 during a mass shooting should tell operators the location of the active shooter as well as the number of shooters and a physical description of them, the number and type of weapons they have, and provide a count of potential victims.

The DHS said the first officers to arrive on the scene will not stop to help anybody who is injured; that will be handled by rescue teams who follow the initial officers.

When law enforcement arrives, survivors are advised to:
Remain calm, follow instructions and do not ask questions when being evacuated;
Drop anything in their hands, raise their hands and spread their fingers;
Keep hands visible at all times; and
Avoid quick movements toward officers as well as pointing, yelling or screaming.

It added that those who survive a mass shooting will likely be held in an area by law enforcement until the situation is under control, and all witnesses identified and questioned. They should not leave until they are told they can.

For more information, it is recommended employers contact their local law enforcement authorities or FBI field office.

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