Emergency planning for the workplace

November 29, 2018

Large sea of hands

Earlier this year, we covered how to develop an active shooter plan. Recent incidents once again remind us of the need for a plan, but also to ensure staff knows the plan and holds drills to keep them aware of their roles. If it happens, it will happen quickly, and clear heads will be needed.

For the private citizen, the FBI has a three-part general response.


  • Leave your belongings behind
  • Evacuate whether others agree to follow
  • Help others escape, if possible
  • Do not attempt to move the wounded
  • Prevent others from entering an area where the active shooter may be
  • Keep your hands visible
  • Call 911 when you are safe


  • Hide in an area out of the shooter’s view
  • Lock door or block entry to your hiding place
  • Silence your cell phone and remain quiet


  • Fight as a last resort
  • Attempt to incapacitate the shooter
  • Act with physical aggression
  • Improvise weapons or throw items
  • Commit to your actions…your life depends on it

When you do call 911, give the location. Tell the operator the number of shooters and give a description. Let 911 know how many and what kind of weapons are involved. Finally, try to give an idea of how many victims and potential victims.

You can download the FBI “Active Shooter Guide” here.

As for your building plan, this can be incorporated into other emergency plans. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has an “Active Shooter Emergency Action Plan” guide, along with a companion video.

DHS’ website offers a host of posters, booklets, pamphlets, and other awareness resource materials.

For more help on emergency planning, contact Vanguard Resources.