Does your facility have an active shooter plan in place?

April 18, 2018

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Having an active shooter plan can play an important role in keeping your facility safe. Just as fire drills can prepare workers for emergencies, so can active shooter drills. The tips below include the most up-to-date government recommendations.


  • Gunshots don’t necessarily sound like they do in movies or games—especially if the shooting is happening in another part of the building. In real life, gunfire is often confused with fireworks. A good rule of thumb: If you hear fireworks in the middle of the day at a place where a firework show is unlikely (e.g. in or near a facility) then act like it’s gunfire.


  • The attack on Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, in which 17 people were killed and 17 more injured, took place in just 6 minutes. You have to train your workers to act immediately. They must act the minute they even think an attack is happening.


  • Planning is everything. All of these steps require planning and training. Develop an Emergency Action Plan, train your staff, run drills, retrain, and be sure to train new employees.


The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) lists the following steps when responding to an active shooter situation:


  1. RUN
  • Have an escape route and plan in mind
  • Leave your belongings behind
  • Keep your hands visible


  1. HIDE
  • Hide in an area out of the shooter’s view
  • Block entry to your hiding place and lock the doors
  • Silence your cell phone and/or pager


  1. FIGHT
  • As a last resort and only when your life is in imminent danger
  • Attempt to incapacitate the shooter
  • Act with physical aggression and throw items at the active shooter


To read more about active shooter preparedness, view the entire pocket card or visit the DHS’s Active Shooter Preparedness website.


Further Reading


For more help on emergency planning, contact Vanguard Resources.