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Tips for Surviving an Active Shooter Event

If an armed person entered your workplace, many workers would freeze in place, like proverbial deer in the headlights. Depending on the motivation of the person carrying the gun, workers who froze in plain sight might either be ignored or randomly targeted for execution.

Since you can’t know a shooter’s motivation, doing nothing isn’t a very safe gamble. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) says that workers who find themselves in the middle of an active shooter event need to have a plan if they have any hope of surviving.

“The plan doesn’t have to be complicated. There are three things you need to do that make a difference: Run, hide and fight,” the FBI advises.

1.      Run: When an active shooter is in your vicinity:

  • If there is an escape path, attempt to evacuate the building.
  • Evaluate whether others agree to evacuate.
  • Don’t waste time collecting your belongings.
  • Help others escape if possible.
  • Prevent others from entering the area you have just left.
  • Call 911 when you are safe.

2.      Hide: If you can’t get out safely, you will need to find a hiding place out of the shooter’s view that will provide protection if shots are fired and will not trap or restrict your options for movement:

  • Lock and/or blockade the door.
  • Silence your cell phone.
  • Hide behind large objects.
  • Remain very quiet.

3.      Fight: As a last resort and only if your life is in danger:

  • Improvise weapons you can use against the shooter.
  • Attempt to incapacitate that person.
  • Commit to your actions, whether you are part of a team that is hiding, or you are by yourself.

When police officers arrive, their first priority will be to locate and stop the shooter. Workers need to:

  • Remain calm and follow instructions.
  • Keep their hands visible at all times.
  • Avoid pointing or yelling.
  • Know that help for the injured is on the way.

Related content:

A worker who shot four co-workers, including a manager, later told police he did it because he wanted respect. Read the article here.

A tense dispute over severance pay was occurring at a British Columbia workplace where two managers were shot dead. Read the article here.

A lawsuit has been filed against an armored car company in connection to the murders of three of its employees during a robbery perpetrated by another armed guard. Read the article here.

This article presents a 12-step game plan for addressing workplace violence.

Here is the official Run, Hide, Fight video. Share it with your workers.

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