Incidents involving active threats or active shooters remain a concern. Fortunately, there are tangible actions we can all take before, during, or after such an incident to make ourselves, our neighbors, our coworkers, and our communities safer. The following overview provides general guidance to minimize or mitigate the impact of violent assailants, and includes links to additional informational resources.
Before – Prepare and Prevent
- Foster a respectful work environment and report deviations
- Recognize the signs of deteriorating mental health and stability
- Unusual stress or “trigger events” at home or at work
- Significant changes in appearance or hygiene
- Behavioral changes such as isolation or outbursts
- Develop and maintain a current, all-hazards emergency operations plan
- Prepare facility with training and education, alert system(s), and multiple exit routes
During – Respond
- Notify: Call 911 when safe to do so, providing street address and floor number, and alert building occupants of situation via public address and/or mass notification systems.
- Secure: Lock down the building, including all access points such as entrances, loading docks, and garages. To avoid additional risk, only first responders should be allowed to enter.
- Take Action: The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) recommends the following courses of action when faced with an active threat.
- Run, rapidly move away from the threat. Evacuate only if escape route is available and it is safe to do so.
- Hide, shelter in place when evacuation is not an option, Hide in a secure area, away from suspect’s view.
- Fight, incapacitate the aggressor. Directly attack the perpetrator only as a last resort and if there are no other options.
After – Recover
- Follow instructions by security and first responders
- Assist neighbors/coworkers who may be injured or traumatized
- Perform accountability checks and report to first responders
- Help law enforcement gather potential witnesses
- Take care of yourself, make use of counseling or employee assistance program services
Department of Homeland Security:
Federal Bureau of Investigation: