MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) - If you're driving down I-65 in Mobile, you may see new billboards telling you to "Run, Hide or Fight."
The Alabama Department of Homeland Security paid for the billboards to alert the public to a video detailing how to respond to an active shooter situation in a public setting or the work place.
"It's not just schools. It's work places, it's government buildings, and it's becoming a too well-known story," said ADHS Spokesperson Leah Garner.
Garner said officials began working on the video in October 2012, but after the Sandy Hook shooting in Newtown, Connecticut Governor Robert Bentley asked for an early release.
"The governor reached out to us and said, ‘What do we need to do? What do we need to get out to everybody?' And we said, ‘Well, we've actually been working on a lot of this already.' And he said get it out there," Garner said.
The city of Houston produced the majority of the video and the ADHS paid $2,000 to add Alabama elements to the clip. The department spent $50,000 in federal grant money on the billboards posted throughout the state.
The billboards feature men in women in professional clothes, running for their lives and a link to a video showing people what to do.
"We feel that if people have as much as they can to prepare there's a chance that we could help save their lives," said Garner.
According to the website, officials said if you're confronted by a gunman in a public setting or the workplace that it's best to make a decision, trust your instincts and take action to protect yourself and survive the situation.
Officials say the video is not designed for education system, but for adult or in a public setting. The website says those in an active shooter situation generally have three options:
- Run: Can you safely escape?
- Hide: Is there a good place to hide?
- Fight: Will you take out the shooter?
The video has drawn some mixed feelings. Roy Zinc said he watched the video at his job and thinks it can be helpful.
"I didn't know what to think at first. But I guess, pretty good ideas. There's a lot of differing opinions on it," said Zinc.
One woman believes the billboard is a waste of money.
"That money could be spent on cops, time. We could have more security around Mobile, and we wouldn't have to have signs like that if we had more security through the cops," said Elisabeth Mitchel.
The department hopes the billboard sparks your curiosity and saves lives.
"Our hope as a department is that you will spark interest in the message of the billboard and it will lead you to the website that will allow you to read and see the video and understand it fully and take it to heart," said Garner.
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