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Preparing for an Active Shooter Situation


If you’re in a situation involving an active shooter, do you know what to do? Following a police-backed preparedness plan can help save not only your life, but also the lives around you.

Be Aware

Always be aware of your environment. Look around when you enter any area and identify at least two nearby exits. Also look for anything or anyone who could be dangerous. This includes both people who are acting suspicious and things such as construction areas that could be dangerous to hide in or run towards. If you do notice someone acting suspicious, report it to someone in authority or call the police.

Know the Profile of an Active Shooter Situation

When someone has decided they want to shoot up an area, they’re generally not looking for specific targets. Their victims are random, and their only goal is to attempt to shoot as many people as they can. In order to accomplish this, they usually pick areas that are fairly confined and are generally crowded. The entire situation is erratic and can change quickly without much warning. These situations are also almost always ended by law enforcement—the shooter will continue to act until stopped.

What to Tell the Police

If you are able to hide and call 911, you need to provide them with as much accurate information as possible. First, be as calm as you can and state that a shooting is happening. Tell them where the shooter is, and be as specific as you can be. Also make sure to state if there is more than one shooter. Provide physical descriptions of each if you’re able to. Also describe the weapons they’re using, including how many they have and what type they are. Finally, provide as much information as you can about the number of potential victims, including how many people are in the area in total (a good guess is fine) and how many you know have been injured.

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