How to Protect Yourself in a Crowd in an Active Shooter Situation

Gunfire raining down on fellow concertgoers may be one of my worst nightmares. Knowledge of how deadly attacks on contained crowds can be is part of the reason I have trouble attending concerts, sporting events or other places where large groups of people are confined to a relatively small area.

What do you do in those situations when shots start ringing? Find Cover. If no cover is available, find Concealment. Cover is anything that physically protects you from enemy fire. The best cover is sand or dirt. Something that gives a little to slow a bullet.  Active shooter horrorists often use AR-15 rifles, which can’t shoot through 18″ of sand, but can shoot through most 1/2″ of plates of steel.

Therefore, an AR15 can go through telephone poles, mailboxes, cars (generally minus the engine block), speaker boxes at a concert, and most other fixtures at a concert venue. Ideally, you would look for microterrain, such as berms, retaining walls, or hills. If the concert is outside, see if there is a small depression or crevice in the ground that would allow you to better cover your body or vital organs.

Given that there isn’t much cover in a concert environment, especially from a shooter at a high angle, the next thing you should seek is concealment. According to initial reports and footage, the shooter at the Jason Aldean concert was using an automatic weapon. With such firearms there is relatively no ability to engage a point target, especially over distance. Therefore, he was aiming at masses of people. Being able to conceal your location behind a sign, a banner, or anything that obstructs the shooters view is better than being out in the open.

Quick, careful listening to determine the type of weapon and the direction of fire can help you make a lifesaving decision of what sort of cover or concealment you should take.

In closing, I echo the sentiments of the nation. My thoughts and prayers are with the victims of this horrific attack. Just as the Boston Strong united a wonderful city, let’s pray this nation takes initiative in routing out hate of all kinds.

Cruise Ship Safety & Security

The cruise industry continues to experience significant growth, with the Cruise Lines International Association projecting that its members will serve 25.3 million passengers in 2017, compared to 17.8 million in 2009.

To meet the increasing demand, the industry is planning to build 97 new ships over the next ten years.

The cruise industry is a heavily regulated industry. All cruise ships are designed and operated in compliance with the strict requirements of the International Maritime Organization, for example, the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) Convention and the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL). They are subject to periodic inspections and surveys by their Flag State and Port State authorities, and classification society.

Over the last three years, the Coast Guard National Response Center annually received approximately 65 incident reports from cruise ship operators. Additionally, the Coast Guard reported that 2015 saw a substantial increase in the number of vessel detention over 2014.  The most common areas of detainable deficiencies include: (1) fire protection systems, (2) firefighting detection, (3) maintenance of ship and equipment, (4) rescue boats, and (5) oily water separating equipment.

Some of these incidents have resulted in significant enforcement action. Notably, on December 1, 2016, a major cruise line pleaded guilty to seven felony charges stemming from its deliberate pollution of the seas and intentional acts to cover it up. The company has agreed to pay a $40 million penalty and be will be under a court supervised Environmental Compliance Program for five years.

In promoting safety, security and environmental protection, Meridian.us offers the following scalable, cost-effective services for the cruise industry:

  • Safety and Environmental Management Systems Assessment and Improvement
  • Pre-Port State Control Examination Assessment
  • SOLAS Compliance Verification
    • International Safety Management Code Compliance
      • Management review
      • Internal audits
      • Incident investigation
    • International Ship and Port Facility Security Code
      • Ship Security Assessment
      • Ship Security Plan Development and Maintenance
      • Cruise Terminal Security Assessment
      • Cruise Terminal Security Plan Development and Maintenance
      • Training, Drills, and Exercises
  • MARPOL Compliance Verification
    • Oil Record Book
    • Ballast Water Management
    • Waste Stream Management
  • Port Captain Assistance
  • Emergency/Spill management Team Services
  • Environmental Compliance Plan Audits

For additional information on our services, please contact Meridian.us at (251) 345-6776 or info@meridian.us.