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After video tournament shooting, security expert offers tips when attending crowded events

SEATTLE -- In light of the deadly shooting at a video game tournament in Jacksonville, Florida over the weekend, leaving two dead and 11 others injured, many of us are thinking about safety and security at events and venues in our region.

Security expert Jeffrey Slotnick says any place where people are gathered, there should be fundamental concerns for security and risk management.

“Going to these events as a consumer, user, and having your own personal safety plan in your mind about where you are going to go, what you are going to do should an event like this occur. Specifically, in an active shooter event, knowing the difference between cover and concealment; cover being something that protects you ballistically as opposed to something that just hides you,” says Slotnick.

Slotnick says we have to think about it the same way we would an earthquake. It could happen at any time, anywhere and we just need to be prepared to react. He says we all need to have a personal safety plan and that includes specific meeting locations and options to communicate.

“Staying cognizant, staying in communication if you are there with multiple people, knowing to use text messaging or Facebook messaging or Skype messaging or WhatsApp to communicate when regular cellular phone systems may be down. Have a point where you can rally up and families can get back together if they get separated in an event and knowing where to go having first aid items with you,” says Slotnick.

Slotnick says the takeaway here is never go into a venue on autopilot. Have a fundamental plan and discuss it with your family ahead of time so you can take action if you find yourself in an emergency.