Active shooter events can happen
anywhere … any time.
With the prevalence of active shooter incidents on the rise, fear can threaten to interrupt daily tasks like going to work, the store or even going to see a movie. And while these events are unexpected, you don’t have to be unprepared for them. Learning what to do, making a plan, and visualizing what actions to take in an active shooter incident ahead of time can save precious seconds—and even save lives.
- Have an escape route and plan in mind.
- Leave your belongings behind, and keep your hands visible.
- Help others escape, if possible, but evacuate regardless of whether others agree to follow.
- Do not attempt to move the wounded, and prevent others from entering an area where the active shooter may be.
- Call 911 when you are safe.
- Hide in an area out of the shooter’s view.
- Pick a place that conceals but doesn’t constrict your movement.
- Lock door and block entry to your hiding place, if possible.
- Silence your cell phone (including vibrate mode), and remain quiet.
- Fight as a last resort and only when your life is in imminent danger.
- Attempt to incapacitate the shooter, and act with as much physical aggression as possible.
- Improvise weapons or throw items at the active shooter.
- Commit to your actions—your life depends on it.
When Law Enforcement Arrives
- Remain calm and follow instructions. Avoid pointing, screaming or yelling.
- Do not ask questions when evacuating.
- Raise hands, drop any items you’re holding and spread fingers. Keep hands visible at all times.
- Avoid quick movements toward officers, such as holding on to them for safety.
Information taken from Department of Homeland Security’s “Active Shooter Event Quick Reference Guide”
Watch these videos for more in-depth training…
California State University: “CSU Active Shooter Safety Training” –
This video is intended to help prepare students for the potential threat of a gunman on campus.
Department of Homeland Security: “Options for Consideration” –
The Options for Consideration video demonstrates possible actions that individuals can take if confronted with an active shooter scenario.
Department of Homeland Security: “Pathway to Violence” –
This video provides information on behavior indicators that assailants often demonstrate before a violent act.
New Jersey Office of Homeland Security & Preparedness: “Active Shooter Response Training” –
This Active Shooter Response training was developed to provide the public with guidance on how to prepare for and respond to an active shooter situation.