Active Shooter Responses
Dr. John Woods 12.29.15
Being prepared for an active shooter incident is even more of a reality after the situation in California recently. What would you do if an active shooter entered the building where you work or a shopping mall, hospital, or other facility? You need to know how to respond immediately to protect yourself, family, friends, or colleagues.
First on the agenda if you happen to be unlucky enough to find yourself in the middle of an active shooter incident: act fast. Secure your immediate area. Lock and barricade the doors of the room where you are. If you happen to be in a hallway or open area, then get to a confined room where you can lock yourself in.
Turn off the lights, close blinds to outside, block windows, turn off radios and office equipment, and remain hidden and quiet. Stay out of the view of any door window if you cannot cover it. Keep all the occupants calm, quiet, and out of sight. Block entry doors with desks, chairs, or whatever is available. Stay behind protective walls and filing cabinets to bullet proof yourself.
You can call 9-11 when the event initiates. Tell them where you are and how many people are with you. Then silence all phones. You do not wanting anyone roaming the halls outside to hear noise from your room or to otherwise discover you hiding in that office or room.
When you report an event, tell the authorities your specific location including building name and office or room number. They will want to know how many are with you and if anybody is hurt. If that is the case, assess the injuries and help as needed.
If you have spotted any of the assailants, tell authorities what you saw. Report locations, number of suspects, race/gender, clothing descriptions, physical features, types of weapons, and anything else you can think of.
Once you lock down, then stay there as long as it takes for authorities to come to secure the area and do a room by room search and check. Don’t panic. If they knock, then be sure to identify them before you blindly open the door. Follow their directions to escape.
Active shooter incidents are usually short term events and assailants are not likely to spend much time trying to breech a locked and barricaded room. Hide yourself and stay secure until you are guarded out of the facility.