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How to Respond to an Active Shooter

Please note: The following video contains an enactment of an active shooter that some may find disturbing. However, the video provides guidance on how to respond should an active shooter situation occur. While the scripted violence is simulated and mildly graphic, the message is real and will hopefully resonate across the campus.

Run, Hide, Fight: Surviving an Active Shooter Event was produced by the City of Houston, TX

While the likelihood of a shooter on campus is remote, it is best to be prepared for any situation. Active shooter situations are unpredictable and evolve quickly. Individuals must be prepared both mentally and physically to deal with the active shooter situation until law enforcement arrives on the scene.

Run / Evacuate

If there is an accessible escape path, attempt to evacuate the premises. Be sure to:

  • Have an escape route and plan in mind
  • If possible, you should identify a second escape route
  • Leave your belongings behind
  • Evacuate regardless of whether or not others agree to follow
  • Help others escape, if possible
  • Generally, do not attempt to move wounded people
  • Prevent individuals from entering the area where the active shooter may be
  • Go to a safe place
  • Call 911 and be prepared to give:
    • Number of assailants
    • Location of assailants
    • Description of assailants
    • Quantity of weapons
    • Number of victims visible

Hide Out

If evacuation is not possible, find a place to hide where the active shooter is less likely to find you.

Your hiding place should:

  • Be out of the active shooter’s view (move away from windows & close blinds)
  • Provide protection if shots are fired in your direction.
  • Not trap you or restrict your options for movement (if possible)

To prevent an active shooter from entering your hiding place:

  • Lock the door (if possible)
  • Blockade the door with heavy furniture
  • Turn off lights and any source of noise
  • Close blinds
  • Stay away from windows
  • Turn off your cell phone
  • Remain quiet

Prepare an action plan in the event the shooter enters your hiding place:

  • Develop an action plan with others in your hiding place
  • If possible, spread out within the hiding place

Fight / Take Action Against the Active Shooter

As a last resort, and only when your life is in imminent danger, attempt to disrupt and/or incapacitate the active shooter by:

  • Acting in concert with others
  • Acting as aggressively as possible
    • Throw items
    • Utilize improvised weapons (fire extinguishers, chairs, large objects, sharp objects)
  • Be decisive and believe you will survive

When Law Enforcement Arrives

  • Keep your hands visible (put objects down & raise hands)
  • Don’t run toward or grab officers or make sudden movements
  • Don’t scream
  • Follow officer’s directions
  • If known, advise officers of number of shooters and their location
  • Don’t expect help, officers are going to the source
  • Stay in a safe area until situation is under control and you’ve given your information to officers
  • Do not leave the safe area unless approved by officers

Post-Event Activities

  • Ensure police have your contact information
  • Assist in accounting for missing people
  • Volunteer your services through your supervisor
    • Give your supervisor a contact number
    • Inform them of any special skills you have