Guide to Emergency Preparedness: Active Shooter
In an active shooter situation, quickly determine if you are in danger and decide on the safest course of action to protect your life. You should:
A. Run: if there is an accessible escape path, try to leave;
B. Hide: if leaving is not possible, find a place to hide and prepare to fight for your life; and
C. Fight: as a last resort, disrupt and/or incapacitate the shooter.
- Run if there is an accessible escape path.
- Warn individuals not to enter an area where the shooter may be.
- Have an escape route and plan in mind.
- Leave the area regardless of whether others agree to follow.
- Help others escape, if possible.
- Keep your hands open and visible.
- Follow the instructions of any emergency responders.
- Do not try to move anyone who has been hurt.
- Call 911 when it is safe to do so and provide the following information:
- Location of the shooter;
- Number of shooters, if more than one;
- Physical description of the shooter(s);
- Number and type of weapons held by the shooter(s); and
- Number of possible victims at the location.
- Hide if running or escaping is not possible.
- Quickly choose the best space available, where you’ll be protected from gunfire, for example behind a brick wall or other solid object.
- Your hiding place should:
- Be out of the shooter’s view;
- Provide protection if shots are fired in your direction; and
- Not trap you or restrict your options for movement.
To prevent an active shooter from entering your hiding place and keep yourself safe while hiding:
- Lock the door.
- Block the door with heavy furniture.
- Move away from windows.
- Stay quiet and turn off your cell phone. (Even the vibration setting can give away a hiding position.)
- Prepare to fight.
- As your last option, disrupt, distract, and/or attack the shooter.
- Act as aggressively as possible toward the shooter.
- Throw items at the shooter and use heavy objects as weapons.
- Don’t give up.
Arrival of Emergency Responders/Law Enforcement
When emergency responders arrive, it is important that you:
- Keep calm and follow instructions;
- Put down any items and immediately raise your hands while spreading your fingers;
- Avoid making any sudden movements;
- Keep your hands visible at all times; and
- After you reach a safe location or assembly point, cooperate by providing information to investigators.
Things to remember in an active shooter situation:
- Remember that the primary goal of emergency responders/law enforcement in this situation will be to eliminate the threat and stop the active shooter as soon as possible.
- First responders will not stop to help injured people until it is safe.
- Responders will take command of the situation and may shout orders and push people to the ground for their safety.
- Knowing what to expect will help you assist responders as they eliminate the threat.