How do I prepare my staff for the possibility of workplace violence by an active shooter incident?
Active shooter incidents are an unfortunate reality that every workplace must face and be prepared for. Active shooter situations are unpredictable and evolve quickly. It is important to arm your employees with the information needed to help prevent and prepare for a potential active shooter.
Typically, there is no pattern in the selection of victims in an active shooter incident. Common motives include: anger, revenge, ideology, and untreated mental illness.
How to Prepare – create an Emergency Action Plan:
- Clearly identify possible evacuation routes – have at least two.
- Maintain up to date emergency contact information for all employees to provide to local authorities.
- Practice your evacuation and response plan annually.
How to Respond – it is important that you act swiftly as an active shooter situation often evolves quickly:
- Run: Safely evacuate the area when possible to do so and call 911 when out of the line of fire. Help others evacuate when possible and stop anyone from entering the active shooter zone. It is important to keep your hands visible so that responders on the scene do not view you as a threat and follow all instructions given by the police responding.
- Hide: If you cannot evacuate safely, barricade yourself as best possible and stay quiet. Lock the door or block an entrance with a heavy object. Remember to silence your phone, including vibration, and dim your screen if possible.
- Fight: Lastly, if you are unable to escape or hide, be prepared to fight and to act decisively. Improvise weapons from your surroundings and throw things at the shooter. For example, a fire extinguisher makes an excellent defense tool both in weight and to spray at the shooter. Work as a team to disable the shooter and remember that you are fighting for your life.
Call and Text 911 for Help – provide as many details as possible, including:
- Location of the shooter.
- Your current location.
- Context of the situation.
- Number of shooters.
- Describe the shooter as accurately as possible.
- Number and types of weapons.
- Number of people in the locations.
- Any actions taken.
How to Interact with Law Enforcement on Scene:
- Remain calm, follow instructions and keep your hands visible at all times.
- Put down anything in your hands; raise your hands and spread fingers.
- Avoid pointing, screaming or yelling.
- Do not stop an officer for help during evacuation.
- Do not share anything on social media.
Law enforcement will be on scene to stop the active shooter as quickly as possible. Any injured victims will not be helped until the shooter has been neutralized and the area is safe.
For more detailed information, visit Welcome to IS-907 – Active Shooter: What You Can Do training.
Would your organization benefit from a customized Active Shooter Training? strategic HR inc. has two previous military employees that have developed an Active Shooter Training program to customize to your workplace. Contact us right away to learn more and get your training scheduled.