LAS VEGAS (KLAS)– After two false alarms created panic and fear on the Las Vegas Strip in a matter of days, 8 News Now spoke with experts about what to do if you think you hear gunfire in a crowded place. 

On Saturday at the Las Vegas Strip and Wednesday at Fashion Show Mall people were running and were terrified, thinking there was an active shooter. While both were deemed false alarms, those who were there said they felt real. 

“It’s very scary,” said Apolinar Rivera, a tourist visiting Las Vegas. “Knowing things like that are happening every day.”

Many said they are constantly on edge, especially whenever they hear a loud noise in a crowd. 

Dr. Sid Khurana, Medical Director for Nevada Mental Health, said the regularity of mass shootings in America has made most people subconsciously scan for threats. 

“The hypervigilance is what this society is living in right now,” Dr. Khurana said. “Those trauma reminders are happening, so our brain doesn’t even get a chance to forget about that.”

Jonathan Alvarez, CEO of Protective Force International, said people should do their best to stay calm and listen to authorities to prevent this kind of panic. 

“Staying calm and listening to everybody that has a uniform on,” Alvarez told 8 News Now. “And is directing you to safety, is imperative.”

If someone does need to get out of a situation quickly, he said it’s important to stay low and pay attention to exit options, to keep everyone safe no matter how scary something may seem. 

“It’s hard when there are so many people that are scared that it’s going to happen,” Riviera said. 

Dr. Khurana also said in a situation of mass panic, some people may experience what’s called ‘perceptual trauma.’

In this case, the fear you feel makes you believe you heard or saw a threat that wasn’t actually present.