The best possible scenario is to intervene before a person turns violent. If you see warning signs, do not hesitate to share your concerns with proper authorities. Response to an active shooter requires individual decision making. The emergency notification will provide the last known location of the threat, but the shooter might have moved. In most cases the best scenario is to barricade, meaning you should lock your office or room if able or move furniture that would prevent the shooter from entering your location. You should evacuate only if you are reasonably sure you know where the shooter is and you have a clear path to an exit.
Watch this video to learn about individual active shooter response.
Additional active shooter response videos:
- Boston College: Active Shooter Awareness
- SAIT: Survive an Active Shooting
- Ready Houtson: Run, Hide, Fight (Covers the Department of Homeland Security funded Run, Hide, Fight response)
Active Shooter Response Actions
- Have an escape plan in mind.
- If you are outside a building near the threat, go to the nearest cover immediately.
- If you are inside the building and are confident you know the shooter’s location and have a clear path to an exit, evacuate immediately and take others with you if possible.
- Prevent others from entering the building.
- Keep your hands empty and visible and follow all instructions from police.
- Tell police anything you know about the shooter (location, weapons, etc).
If you are inside a building and the shooter(s) location is unknown, the safest option is normally to barricade.
If you are unsure that you can safely exit the building, secure the area by following these tips:
- Lock and barricade doors with heavy furniture
- Stay away from doors or windows
- Turn off lights
- Block windows
- Turn off radios and computer monitors
- Keep yourself out of sight (take cover/protection from bullets by using concrete walls or heavy furniture)
- Silence your cell phone
Quietly report to 911:
- Your specific location
- Number of people at your location
- Number of injured and types of injuries
- Assailant(s) – location, number of suspects, race/gender, clothing description, physical features, types of weapons, backpack, shooter’s identity (if known), separate explosions from gunfire, etc.
- If you cannot speak, leave the line open and allow the dispatcher to listen
Attempt to stop the attacker by:
- Working as a group if possible
- Improvising weapons
- Committing to your actions
- Acting with physical aggression
Be Prepared for the Police Response
- Follow all instructions given by police officers.
- Understand that the first actions by police will be to address the threat.
- Make sure your empty hands are in plain view.
- Tell police any information you know about the shooter.
Self-report for Tracking
- Attempt to contact your immediate family. (It is good practice to designate a common point of contact that your family and friends know to call.)
- Provide information to university officials for rosters upon request.
- Register on the emergency database (Reconnect) designed to share information in an emergency.