Disaster Preparedness – Active shooter


Active shooter



  • Have an escape route and plan in mind, and evacuate regardless of whether others agree to follow.
  • Leave your belongings behind.
  • Help others escape, if possible, and prevent individuals from entering an area where the active shooter may be.
  • Do not attempt to move wounded people. Rescue teams will treat and remove any injured persons.
  • Call 911 when you are safe.

Information to provide to law enforcement or 911 operator:

  • Location of the active shooter.
  • Number of shooters, if more than one.
  • Physical description of shooter/s.
  • Number and type of weapons held by the shooter/s.
  • Number of potential victims at the location.

How to react when law enforcement arrives:

  • Remain calm and follow officers’ instructions.
  • Put down any items in your hands, such as bags or jackets. Immediately raise hands and spread fingers and keep hands visible at all times
  • Avoid making quick movements toward officers such as holding on to them for safety-Avoid pointing, screaming and/or yelling
  • Do not stop to ask officers for help or direction when evacuating, just proceed in the direction from which officers are entering the premises

If evacuation is not possible:

  • Find a place to hide where the active shooter is less likely to find you. Your hiding place should be out of the active shooter’s view and provide protection if shots are fired in your direction (i.e., an office with a closed and locked door). The hiding place should not trap you or restrict your options for movement.
  • To prevent an active shooter from entering your hiding place, you should lock the door-Blockade the door with heavy furniture.
  • If the active shooter is nearby, lock the door and silence your cell phone and/or pager-Turn off any source of noise such as radios, televisions.
  • Hide behind large items such as cabinets or desks and remain quiet.

If neither evacuation nor hiding out is possible:

  • Remain calm.
  • Dial 911, if possible, to alert police to the active shooter’s location.
  • If you cannot speak, leave the line open and allow the dispatcher to listen.

As a last resort (only when your life is in immediate danger), take action against the active shooter:

  • Attempt to disrupt or incapacitate the active shooter. Act as aggressively as possible.
  • Throw items, improvise weapons, and yell.
  • Commit to your actions.