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Be Prepared for an Active Shooter

Be Prepared for an Active Shooter

Unfortunately, the tragedy in Parkland, Florida this week, reminds us all of the need to be prepared to deal with the possibility of confronting an active shooter situation. To manage any situation, we know that being prepared and ready to respond appropriately are good practices. 


Those of us trained for an active shooter know the steps to take to protect ourself if an active shooter is in the vicinity:

  • Search for an exit: Do what you can to get to a safe place. Leave the area in the opposite direction from any shooter if it is possible to do so.
  • Find a place to hide: If you cannot leave, turn out the lights in the room you are in, lock or barricade the door and hide until help arrives. Avoid hallways, turn your cell phone to silent, and remain as quiet as possible.
  • End the threat: This step is a last resort when you have no other option: this is a life-or-death situation. In this scenario, you have no other option but to FIGHT and attempt to disrupt and/or incapacitate the active shooter in any way you can. If you choose this option, DO NOT hesitate and be decisive.

The City of Houston, Texas Mayor's Office of Public Safety, and Homeland Security produced the video “Run. Hide. Fight.® Surviving an Active Shooter Event.” The video helps you understand what you should and should not do in the event you are confronted by an active shooter. PLEASE NOTE THAT THIS VIDEO CONTAINS GRAPHIC DEPICTIONS OF VIOLENT ACTS AND MAY BE DISTURBING OR UNSETTLING TO SOME VIEWERS.


  • Why should managers address an active shooter scenario with employees?
  • What else could managers do to enhance employees' safety and security?

Photo credit: pennstatenews on Visual Hunt / CC BY-NC-ND