A violent incident can occur at your work or school under a variety of circumstances, so no one set of guidelines is able to cover specific actions to take in every situation. Even so, familiarity with the following information can help with planning your own survival strategy. School and workplace violence may take the form of an active shooter. An active shooter is a person who is using a firearm or other weapon with the intent to injure or kill others. Law enforcement personnel will deploy to the location of the active shooter with the primary goal of stopping the shooter. During an emergency at your school or workplace, you may receive information via automated text alerts or phone messages, over a public announcement system or police radio speakers. If you have phone service or internet, you can try to pass on and receive real time information through 9-1-1.
If The Threat is Outside Your Building
- Proceed to a room that can be locked. On your way to the room, tell as many people as possible to do the same.
- Lock all doors and windows and turn off the lights.
- Have one person in the room call 9-1-1 and be prepared to advise the dispatcher of your location, name, the number of people in the room and any information about the threat outside the room.
- Remain in the room until advised by law enforcement personnel to exit the building. Do not respond to unidentified or unrecognized voice commands or fire alarms.
- Officers will enter your building and check each room. If you have not been contacted within one hour, call 9-1-1 for further instructions.
If The Threat is Inside Your Building
- Determine if the room you are in or near can be locked or otherwise secured. If so, follow the procedures as indicated above.
- If the room can’t be locked or secured, locate the nearest exit and determine whether or not you can exit the building safely.
- If you can safely leave the building, do so.
If the Threat is in Your Office or Classroom
- Try to remain calm and call 9-1-1 if possible. If you are unable to speak, leave the phone line open so that the dispatcher can hear what is happening.
- If you cannot escape or hide, you may try to negotiate with the person, pretend to be unconscious or fight and attempt to overpower the person with force as a last result.
- Police officers responding to an active shooter may be wearing regular uniforms or special tactical gear, but they will be clearly identified as law enforcement officers.
- Responding officers will point firearms at you while seeking the threat. This is a normal part of their training and response. Avoid any sudden furtive movements and obey all officer commands. Keep your hands visible to officers at all times.
- Responding officers are trained to proceed immediately to the area where shooting is taking place to neutralize the threat. If you are injured, they will not stop to assist you.
- Another group of officers and/or tactical medics will follow to provide medical assistance and help with evacuation.
- Remain calm and immediately comply with all commands from law enforcement officers.