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HOW TO PREPARE FOR AND RESPOND DURING AND AFTER AN ACTIVE SHOOTER INCIDENT

Recent national tragedies remind us that the risk is real: an active shooter incident can happen in any place at any time. The best ways to make sure you and your loved ones stay safe are to prepare ahead of time and be ready. Taking a few steps now and mentally rehearsing what to do can help you react quickly when every second counts.

CALL 911 WHEN IT IS SAFE TO DO SO

 

Profile of an Active Shooter

An active shooter is an individual actively engaged in killing or attempting to kill people in a confined and populated area, typically through the use of firearms.

Characteristics of an Active Shooter Sitaution

  • Victims are selected at random
  • The event is unpredictable and evolves quickly
  • Law enforcement is usually required to end an active shooter situation

Coping with an Active Shooter Situation

  • Be aware of your environment and any possible dangers
  • Take note of the two nearest exits in any facility you visit
  • If you are in an office, stay there and secure the door
  • Attempt to take the active shooter down as a last resort

How to Respond When an Active Shooter is in Your Vicinity

  1. Run (evacuate)
    • Have an escape route and plan in mind
    • Leave your belongings behind
    • Keep your hands visible
  2. Hide
    • Hide in an area out of the shooter's view
    • Block entry to your hiding place and lock the doors
    • Silence your cell phone and/or pager
  3. Fight
    • As a last resort and only when your life is in imminent danger
    • Attempt to incapacitate the shooter
    • Act with physical aggression and throw items at the shooter

How to Respond When Law Enforcement Arrives

  • Remain calm and follow instructions
  • Put down any items in your hands (i.e. bags, jackets)
  • Raise hands and spread fingers
  • Keep hands visible at all times
  • Avoid quick movements toward officers such as holding on to them for safety
  • Avoid pointing, screaming, or yelling
  • Do not stop to ask officers for help or direction when evacuating

Information You Should Provide to Law Enforcement or 911 Operator

  • Location of the active shooter
  • Number of shooters
  • Physical description of shooters
  • Number and type of weapons held by shooters
  • Number of potential victims at the location

 

Prepare for and prevent violent situations at school.

Further prepare by signing up for an active shooter training. UVM Police Services is available to come to your office or building on campus to provide department/location specific active shooter training. Contact our Community Coordinator, Officer Sue Roberts, to set this up. Further prepare yourself with the active shooter: what you can do online course.