Active Shooter Response

Make A Plan

Active shooter incidents are often unpredictable and evolve quickly. In many cases, there is no pattern or method to the selection of victims by an active shooter, and these situations are, by their very nature, unpredictable and evolve quickly. There are smart actions you can take to improve your chances of survival should you find yourself in proximity to a shooter or a violent emergency situation.

If there are reports of an active shooter situation:

  • If it is possible to escape the building and campus safely and avoid danger, do so by the nearest exit.
  • These situations are incident specific. Each individual and department will have to make a decision based on the available information (your location, location of the incident, etc.).

If you hear shots fired:

Get Out!

  • Move quickly – do not wait for others to validate your decision.
  • Leave your belongings behind.
  • Shots fired indoor may have a muffled of a different sound. 
  • Survival chances increase if you are not where the shooter is or if you go where the shooter can’t see you.

Call Out!

  • Once you are in a safe location, call the 911. 
  • Advise others in the immediate area to stay away from the shooter’s location and to seek shelter.

Hide Out!

  • If you can’t get out because the shooter is between you and the only exit then hide out.
  • Move out of the hallway and look for a well hidden and well-protected room.
  • Avoid places that might trap or restrict your movement.

Keep Out!

  • Try to find a room that can be locked – if the room can’t be locked try to barricade or block the door with heavy furniture or other heavy objects.
  • Turn out the lights and all noise-producing devices.
  • Try to stay silent and turn down 2-way radios and electronics. 
  • Call the police if you can do so without alerting the shooter.

Spread Out!

  • If there are two or more of you, do not huddle together.
  • Spreading out gives you more options and makes it harder for the shooter.
  • Quietly develop a plan of action in the event the shooter enters your room.
  • Remain calm. This can have a “contagious” effect on others.
  • Stay focused on survival. Keep others focused.

Take Out!

  • Assume the shooter’s intentions are lethal.
  • Develop a survival mindset – actively choose the position that you have what it takes to survive when your life is on the line.
  • You must be prepared to do whatever it takes to neutralize the threat.
  • Throw things, yell, use improvised weapons.
  • Use force against shooter/threat as a last resort. 

Do the best that you can – choose to survive.

Sources: 

https://www.dhs.gov/active-shooter-preparedness

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/first-aid-advice-during-a-terrorist-incident

https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/national-counter-terrorism-security-office

https://emilms.fema.gov/IS907/curriculum/1.html