MOORHEAD, Minn. -

The St. Cloud mall stabbing has retailers across the country and right here in the Valley on their toes.

When it comes to enjoying a day out shopping, the last thing you expect is to be running for your life.

What kind of precautions does the Moorhead Center Mall have in place?

Mall management tells us they do not have a security team on staff and they do not hire security guards.

That's where retailers take matters into their own hands when preparing for emergencies.

"We have a handbook , and not all the time would you have the time to read the handbook and make a decision like this past summer when there was a tornado. There is a calling list. We all get together, everyone knows where to go," said Mary Fabre, Owner of Merle Norman.

From violence to derailed trains, the merchants association makes sure to discuss it.

"Every kind of thing that we can think of...and no situation's going to be the same," she adds.

Mary says there are many stores at the Moorhead Center Mall that only has one person working at a time.

That's why she says the most important thing is to look ahead.

"Think what would be the best situation," Mary explained. "Do I run across the hall to Herberger's? Do I run out the door? Do I shut myself in the back room?"

Mary was happy to hear that off duty officers are encouraged to carry firearms in Moorhead.

It was an off duty officer who killed the suspect wielding a knife and the officer potentially saved many lives.

"I think that man is a hero," Fabre says.

"The Moorhead Police Department has a policy that allows for, supports and actually we encourage our officers to carry their firearms off duty. The reason for this is, these are officers that are experienced and educated on the laws specific to deadly force," said Lieutenant Tory Jacobson of the Moorhead Police Department.

Jacobson says they recognize many people have permits to carry, but officers can provide public safety even when they're off duty.

"Officers from their experience and training often find themselves, even in their off time, being more alert and specifically in tune to different behaviors," said Lt. Jacobson.

Like any other situation, merchants find comfort in knowing Moorhead Police is only one call away.

Lt. Jacobson says in any situation if you see something suspicious, call 911, even if you're not sure what that something is.