'Run, hide, fight' emergency message questioned by critics

Posted November 29, 2016

During the attack at Ohio State University, students were told to "Run, Hide, Fight.” It’s a response developed by Homeland Security, but not all universities promote it during an emergency.

The message is clear: run if you can, hide if you must and fight as a last resort.

“When you are panicking like that, you want something that comes to mind quickly and that comes to mind quickly, so I think it is a good idea,” said North Carolina State University student Hannah Payunk.

At NC State and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, students receive alerts via text or email letting them know if there is an emergency, where it's happening and whether they should seek shelter.

Both schools have a video with a similar message to “Run, Hide, Fight,” but it's not required viewing and it's not even posted on the internet.

“I think we have to make sure that we are taking advantage of all the lessons learned,” said North Carolina Senator Ron Rabin.

Rabin is asking local universities to consider the strong message. – or switch these two sentences.

Rabin talked about the run, hide, fight message at a joint legislative emergency management oversight committee meeting, suggesting that all students should be trained to run, hide or fight during an attack.

Some critics say that the idea is an oversimplification and that each of the three rules has flaws. Running from a safe spot, for example, could accidentally lead someone to the shooter.

“You obviously want to defend yourself if you come in contact, questionable in my mind,” NC State student Keilah Davis said.


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  • Matt Nickeson Nov 30, 2016
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    Is this what passes for journalism at WRAL?

  • Dan Ratka Nov 29, 2016
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    Correction Flight 93.

  • Dan Ratka Nov 29, 2016
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    If you can get away, do it. If you need to shelter in place, do it. Block the door, barricade it if you can. The last resort is to confront an armed person. If it happens, Get mean, Like Joesy Wales said in the movie, Mad Dog Mean. You fight or you die. Remember flight 94!!!