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Recently, the FBI reported in a study that active shooter incidents in the United States take place about once a month. But it’s not a stretch to say that it feels like they happen more often. While many western nations around the world do experience active shooter incidents, they happen by far most frequently in the United States.

Occasionally, active shooter incidents will fall into a pattern of once or twice a week, followed by a lull of several weeks, scattered throughout the country, occurring in a variety of different locations: shopping centers, churches, music concerts, fast food outlets, universities, movie theaters, universities and high schools. Unfortunately, there is literally no location in the United States that is free from being a target of an active shooter.

No one ever wants to find themselves in the middle of an active shooter incident, but it’s important to know there are actions you can take to mitigate injuries and fatalities or even prevent them entirely.

Preparation is the most important factor. The days of “It could never happen here” are far behind us, because the reality is that it could happen anywhere, at any time. Regardless of the environment in which you find yourself, there are things you can do to help improve your chances of survival and escape.