Are You Prepared to Face an Active Shooter?
Last Friday, college campuses across the nation received yet another horrifying wake-up call. A shooting massacre at Umpqua Community College in Oregon took the lives of ten people and injured seven. This incident forced many communities to examine what steps can be taken to better protect campuses and schools from future attacks. Sadly, because campuses tend to be a common target for this type of violence, officials nationwide are continuously working to better assess the adequacy of security on school grounds. Considering the frequency of these situations, however, it seems like little progress is being made. That said, so long as shooters continue to enter school grounds undetected, the only way to make certain you are protected is to know how to respond to situations of this nature. The Department of Homeland Security has developed a method that you should know in the event that an active shooter is in your vicinity: 1. Evacuate • Have an escape route and plan in mind • Leave your belongings behind • Keep your hands visible
2. Hide out • Hide in an area out of the shooter’s view • Block entry to your hiding place and lock the doors • Silence your cell phone or anything that could give up your location
3. Take Action (This step should be a last resort and should only be taken when your life is in imminent danger.) • Attempt to incapacitate the shooter • Act with physical aggression and throw items at the gunman
4. Call the police when it is safe to do so. Provide them with the following information: • Location of the active shooter • Number of shooters • Physical description of shooter(s) • Number and type of weapons held by shooter(s) • Number of potential victims at the location
How you should react when law enforcement is on the scene: • Remain calm and follow instructions • Put down any items in your hands (i.e. bags, jackets) • Raise hands and spread fingers • Keep hands visible at all times • Avoid quick movements toward officers such as holding onto them for safety • Avoid pointing, screaming, or yelling • Do not stop to ask officers for help or direction when evacuating
Of course, we all hope that response to this type of situation will not be necessary in our lifetime. It is important that the necessary steps be taken to mitigate any risks to both worst-case scenarios like active shooters, and more common types of threats like property crimes and assault. Taino Consulting Group provides strategic, operational, and tactical emergency management consulting services to enhance your business’s planning and mitigation, in addition to incident management in the event of a disaster. For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.