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Personal Safety Tips and Active Shooter: Cover Versus Concealment

Personal Safety Tips and Active Shooter: Cover Versus Concealment.

Cover versus Concealment

In any active shooter situation, reaching an exit to run away from the threat may not always be an option. Assessing the situation and making the decision will be situational and up to you. If  getting to an exit is no longer an option finding cover will be critical.

Understanding the difference between Cover Versus Concealment is critical, because both can be of help, as long as we understand the difference between them and how they apply.

Cover is anything, like a tree, a concrete wall, a heavy planter box or glass in a mall storefront, a room in an office one can shelter in place in, that can slow or stop a bullet. Cover is something that can protect you.

Concealment is anything that can hide you, but not necessarily protect you from a bullet.

If you cannot reach COVER, Concealment, or hiding from sight of the adversary, may save your life.

Concealment might be between some heavy curtains and the windows in a board room, or under a desk with the chair pulled in close.

Should this topic cause us to be anxious or “paranoid?”  No. We should remain relaxed and aware and understand that the above described scenarios are low probability, but if they do occur, we must have our plan of action tucked away in our back pockets.


Besides identify cover and concealment elements in our environments, we must always be aware of our exits from an area regardless of where we are, and know where those exits lead to.

Also be sure the exit is NOT LOCKED. This occurred at a recent shooting at a COSTCO. Patrons ran for well marked exits only to find them locked when they got to them.

I personally, when at a meeting at a clients office, or on-site to deliver training, have someone walk me to all the viable exits relevant to where I will be during the day.

I also ask if I may open the exit to be sure it is unlocked, where it leads to, and if it can be BLOCKED from outside intentionally, by a wheeled dumpster, a vehicle etc, with the intent of trapping people in the building during an active shooter event.

Its worth the extra few minutes and builds muscle memory on how to get to those exits when one experiences an “adrenaline dump” and thinking clearly becomes more difficult.

Condition Yellow– Relaxed yet aware and prepared.

Be Safe!!

Resource: Active Shooter.


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