DES MOINES – Downtown Des Moines has had a series of shootings over the past year at popular nightlife areas.

One thing all of these shootings have in common is the moment of panic and confusion people experience when the first shot is fired.

Having a plan and being prepared for what to do in case a shooting happens is an important way to stay safe during a dangerous situation.

Sergeant Paul Parizek, the Des Moines Police Department’s Public Information Officer, said that there are three main things you can do during a shooting: Run, Hide, or Fight.

“The number one thing is also knowing what your strengths and your abilities are. I mean are you a fight or flight person and there’s nothing wrong with either of those, but if you’re going to be a flight person you need to know where you’re going to go and how you’re going to get there,” Parizek said.

Being aware of the environment is another important part of safety planning. That means keeping track of where exits are located.

“Being prepared is probably one of the most important things,” Parizek said, “You need to know what you’re gonna do and go through these scenarios in your mind because we see that hesitation when we look at these incidents where people don’t know what they’re gonna do so have a plan in place if you’re gonna head for the exit head for the exit.”

Being aware is important but it’s equally important to not take it too far.

“Being aware being a little hyper-vigilant not paranoid, paranoid is gonna ruin your life. But being aware of your surroundings and having a plan of what you’re going to do if something happens is the best thing that you can do,” Parizek said.