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Active Shooter

Recent national tragedies remind us that the risk is real. Taking a few steps now can help you react quickly when every second counts.

Image by Joe

RUN and escape, if possible.

  • Getting away from the shooter or shooters is the top priority.

  • Leave your belongings behind and get away.

  • Help others escape, if possible, but evacuate regardless of whether others agree to follow.

  • Warn and prevent individuals from entering an area where the active shooter may be.

  • Call 911 when you are safe, and describe shooter, location, and weapons.

HIDE, if escape is not possible.

  • Get out of the shooter’s view and stay very quiet.

  • Silence all electronic devices and make sure they won’t vibrate.

  • Lock and block doors, close blinds, and turn off lights.

  • Don’t hide in groups- spread out along walls or hide separately to make it more difficult for the shooter.

  • Try to communicate with police silently. Use text message or social media to tag your location, or put a sign in a window.

  • Stay in place until law enforcement gives you the all clear.

  • Your hiding place should be out of the shooter's view and provide protection if shots are fired in your direction.

FIGHT as an absolute last resort.

  • Commit to your actions and act as aggressively as possible against the shooter.

  • Recruit others to ambush the shooter with makeshift weapons like chairs, fire extinguishers, scissors, books, etc.

  • Be prepared to cause severe or lethal injury to the shooter.

  • Throw items and improvise weapons to distract and disarm the shooter.


  • Keep hands visible and empty.

  • Know that law enforcement’s first task is to end the incident, and they may have to pass injured along the way.

  • Officers may be armed with rifles, shotguns, and/or handguns and may use pepper spray or tear gas to control the situation.

  • Officers will shout commands and may push individuals to the ground for their safety.

  • Follow law enforcement instructions and evacuate in the direction they come from, unless otherwise instructed.

  • Take care of yourself first, and then you may be able to help the wounded before first responders arrive.

  • If the injured are in immediate danger, help get them to safety.

  • While you wait for first responder to arrive, provide first aid. Apply direct pressure to wounded areas and use tourniquets if you have been trained to do so.

  • Turn wounded people onto their sides if they are unconscious and keep them warm.

  • Consider seeking professional help for you and your family to cope with the long-term effects of the trauma.

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