What is an Active Shooter?
An active shooter is an individual actively engaged in killing or attempting to kill people in a confined and populated area. In most cases, active shooters use firearms and there is often no pattern or method to their selection of victims. (U.S. Department of Homeland Security)
Surviving an Active Shooter
- Your survival may depend on having a plan and an escape route. Know all the exits available to you.
- Run if you can. Always try to evacuate even if others are staying.
- Encourage others to leave with you, but don’t let them slow you down. Don’t attempt to move injured people.
- Leave your belongings behind and try to get out safely. Getting out of harm’s way should be your number one priority.
- Once outside, move far away from the building and warn others from entering the area.
- Incidents have been reported where active shooters have exited the building to escape, and you want to be out of harm’s way.
- Discuss a predetermined meeting place so the senior person present can take a headcount
- Call 9-1-1 when you are safe. Calmly tell the dispatcher everything you can about the shooter(s). Stay on the line until told to hang up.
If you can’t run, HIDE
- If you can’t get out safely, find a place to hide.
- Act quickly and quietly.
- Try to secure your hiding place the best you can by turning off lights and locking and blockading the door with furniture or anything heavy.
- Turn off your cell phone or pager.
- If you can’t find a safe area, try to take cover behind a large object like a desk or cabinet that may protect you from gunfire and conceal you from the shooter’s vision.
- Do your best to remain quiet and calm.
As a last resort, FIGHT
- If your life is at risk, fighting alone or with a group is the last resort.
- Improvise weapons and work to disarm the shooter.
- Make yourself a difficult target. Throw things to distract the shooter and constantly move and yell until you have the opportunity to attack.
Quietly executing an escape plan with a call for help IS key to surviving an office or site security breach.