It’s a situation no one wants to have to even think about experiencing, but everyone should be prepared for. According to the US Department of Homeland Security, an active shooter is an individual actively engaged in killing or attempting to kill people in a confined and populated area. In most cases, active shooters use firearm(s) and there is no pattern or method to their selection of victims.
Active shooters are sadly becoming a more common occurrence. Active shooters have appeared at schools, concerts, and at the workplace. Active shooter situations have been happening since the early 1900’s and since 2000, 37% of the 84 active shooter situations were at a place of business.
As an employer, you need to be prepared and help prepare your employees to stay safe if faced with an active shooter. Here are two things employers should do:
Create a plan. Be prepared with a plan of what to do if there is an active shooter (see information below). Make sure that employees know the best escape route and the best places to run and hide. It may not be fun to talk about but deciding today with your employees what the best plan is in case of an active shooter could save lives. Good preparation will help increase your chances of survival. Write the plan down and share it with employees. Have employees draw maps and be part of the preparation..
The plan you develop with employees for what to do if there is an active shooter should include these three things:
- Run. Run if you can. Do everything in your power to get away from the shooter. Running away will give you the best chance of survival. Encourage other people around you to run as well. Leave your stuff behind. Once outside, keep running. Warn others while running and call 911 once you are safely way from the area.
- Hide. If you absolutely cannot run, then hide. Be quiet and lock the doors. Turn off the lights, block the door, and turn off your cell phones. Remain calm.
- Fight. If you can’t run or hide, then fight. This should be your last resort. Scan the area around you for anything you can use as a weapon to protect yourself.
Practice your plan. Practice what to do if there is an active shooter. Identify weaknesses in your plan and correct them. Make sure everyone takes part in practicing the plan. It might seem odd practicing for an active shooter scenario, but it is well worth the time.
Helpside has an emergency action plan located on our website. This can be a good start to your emergency active shooter planning. Having a plan and practicing your plan will help your employees be more prepared for an emergency. If you have questions about preparing your employees for handling emergency situations, contact us.