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Active Shooter Response

An Active Shooter is an armed person who is actively engaged in killing, or attempting to kill, people in a confined and populated area. Active Shooters normally have intended victims and will search them out, although this is not always the case. While searching for the intended victim, they will randomly shoot other "targets of opportunity" and will continue to move throughout a building or area until they are stopped by law enforcement or commit suicide.

Because active shooter situations are often over within 10 to 15 minutes, before law enforcement arrives on the scene, planning how to respond to an active shooter incident is vital. It is increasingly important for public institutions and corporations to develop prevention and response procedures to address this threat. Local law enforcement is an excellent resource for designing training exercises.

Individuals can protect themselves with key actions that improve the likelihood of surviving an active shooter incident.

GET OUT - If possible, leave the area quickly.

  • Identify an escape route and plan before evacuating.
  • Leave regardless of whether others agree to follow.
  • Help others escape, if possible.

CALL OUT - Call 911.

  • Provide authorities as much information as possible.
  • If you can't speak, leave the line open so authorities can hear.

HIDE OUT - Get out of the shooter's view.

  • Don't trap yourself in restricted space.
  • Hide behind large items.
  • Silence your cell phone.

KEEP OUT - Lock and barricade doors.

  • Lock the shooter out.
  • Turn out the lights so the shooter can't see inside.

SPREAD OUT - Disperse the shooter's target area.

  • If you're with others, don't huddle together.
  • Spreading out makes it make difficult for the shooter to do a lot of damage at one time.

TAKE OUT - Take action against the shooter ONLY as a last resort with no other recourse; your personal risk is increased greatly by doing so.

  • Your action must be ferocious — intend to incapacitate the shooter.
  • Throw items at the shooter and use improvised weapons.
  • Yell as loudly as possible.
  • Commit to your actions.

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