At the South Texas College of Law Houston, we have instituted the A.L.I.C.E. training system. This system is designed to give a person, or group of people, who may find themselves in a violent, life threatening situation, some mental and physical tools that could play a vital role in their survival. The program is designed so that anybody can employ the strategies. Young, old, male, female, it does not matter. One does not have to be police, or military trained in order to survive a violent encounter. He or she does need to have a frame of reference from which to draw, when making life-saving decisions under extreme pressure, much like preparing for a fire, tornado or hurricane.
A.L.I.C.E. is an acronym for:
- ALERT- notify authorities and those in harm’s way of the danger at hand. Notify local authorities by calling 911 (or 8-911 front a campus phone). If safe to do so, notify the Front Security Desk at (713) 646-1743, after calling 8-911 or 911.
- It is important to be as clear and accurate with the information as possible. Remember to identify yourself, your location, the suspect information, type of weapon, direction of travel and a call back number. Don’t hang up unless your safety is compromised. Also, you may receive Alerts from many different sources like PA system, Text or even gunshots or screams. All of these inputs should be quickly processed so that your response is quickly acted out and maximizes your chances of survival.
- LOCKDOWN– or shelter in place. By locking down and barricading entry points, you are making yourself a hard target and creating a stronghold that nobody should be able to enter. Only police personnel may enter a locked down room.
- INFORM– give real-time updates. This can be accomplished with things such as video surveillance equipment or public address systems. Updates during a violent intruder incident allow you to make sound decisions about how to react and what steps, if any, to take next. They can also act as good distracters for the intruder.
- COUNTER– the attacker as a last resort. There have been instances where victims did not have the ability to lockdown or get out because the violent incident occurred right next to them or they were in an area that was not securable. There is also the possibility of the intruder breaching a secured area. If this is the situation then a total commitment to countering the attacker is essential. Many objects can be used as distraction devices, spread out, turn out the lights and be ready to cause confusion for the intruder and make yourself a hard target.
- EVACUATE, or get out!!! Your goal here is to put as much time and distance as possible between you and the attacker. Don’t use the same rally point as with a fire drill, you will want to move much further away from this danger zone.
Remember, there are no guarantees in an active shooter/violent intruder situation, but just as in most other emergency situations the more you prepare, the better your chances of survival.