Active Shooter - Emergency Guide

What is the situation?

An armed suspect(s) is discharging a firearm at community members or law enforcement or randomly firing into an area where it is reasonably expected that persons could be struck by suspect fire. These situations require law enforcement units to take immediate action to end the danger.

These safety tips and guidelines are not all inclusive, but if understood, reviewed periodically and practiced when feasible, these tips can increase your chances of surviving an active shooter. However, every incident varies, making it impossible to provide an absolute answer for every situation.

What should I do?

The information below provides guidelines from the Department of Homeland Security for acts of violence on campus. However, every incident varies, making it impossible to provide an absolute answer for every situation. In the event of an active shooter incident or imminent threat, you should run, hide or fight. Understand that each situation will be different. Always notify the police department as soon as it is safe to do so. Call 911. You must quickly determine the most reasonable way to protect your own life. 

               Run

  • Know your surroundings – have an escape route and plan in mind
  • Run immediately - leave your belongings behind
  • Evacuate regardless of whether others agree to follow.
  • Once you are safe call 911 to alert police

Hide

  • If you can’t escape, hide in an area out of the shooter’s view.  
  • Lock the door or barricade the entry to your hiding place.
  • Silence cell phone (including the vibrate mode) and remain quiet.
  • Take cover behind furniture or fixtures away from doors or windows.
  • Get ready to evacuate or fight if the shooter enters your hiding place.

Fight

  • Fight as a last resort and only when your life is in imminent danger
  • Be very aggressive, yell, throw things
  • Use items around you as weapons to fight
  • Attempt to incapacitate the shooter

In hallways or corridors:

  • If in the hallways, get inside a room and secure it. Unless you are close to an exit, do not run through a long hallway to get to an exit as you may encounter the shooter.

In large rooms or auditoriums:

  • If in a gym or theater area and the shooter is not present, move to and out the exits and move toward any police unit keeping your hands on your head. Do what the police tell you!

Open spaces:

  • Stay alert and look for appropriate cover locations such as  behind brick walls, large trees, retaining walls, or parked vehicles. Any other object that may stop firearm ammunition penetrations may be used as cover.

These safety tips and guidelines are not all-inclusive, but if understood and followed up with periodic reminders and training when feasible, they can increase your chances of surviving an active shooter incident.

More resources

More videos on how to prepare for active shooter situations are available on the SafeCampus website.