The Active Shooter

Lesson 3: Topic 4 of 9

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An armed attacker in your building is one of the most frightening threats you’ll have to potentially deal with. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) advises in such cases that you run away if possible, hide if you can’t run, and fight if that’s the only option left to you.

  • Run:
    • Have an escape route in mind 
    • Leave your belongings behind
    • Keep your hands visible to law enforcement when they arrive and identify yourself
  • Hide:
    • Pick an area out of the shooter’s view 
    • Block entry to your hiding place; lock the doors if you can
    • Call 911 when it is safe to do so 
  • Fight:
    • As a last resort and only when you believe your life is in jeopardy
    • Attempt to incapacitate the shooter 
    • Act with physical aggression (punch, strike with improvised weapons, and throw things at the assailant)

Both FEMA and DHS offer Active Shooter preparedness training in the form of workshops, webinars, booklets, videos, and more. They can be found at the sites below. For FEMA resources, click the link, then type the words “active shooter” in the search bar.

Department of Homeland Securitywww.dhs.gov/activeshooter
Federal Emergency Management Agencyhttps://training.fema.gov/is/crslist.aspx

These materials are all free to the public. Ensure they are part of your emergency training of staff.