Active Shooter Emergency Action Plan

Why It's Important To Have An Active Shooter Emergency Action Plan

Mass shootings have become an undeniable reality of American life.

When emergencies happen, it is very hard to think clearly/make the most reasonable decisions, as our minds fog up trying to make sense of what is going on, while our bodies go on the fight-or-flight autopilot.

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Prepare In Advance with an Active Shooter Emergency Action Plan

However, if we prepare and, in some cases rehearse/do drills of worst-case scenarios, we improve our chances of surviving/helping others survive in the unlikely -- but still possible -- event of getting caught up in a mass shooter situation.

Do a Bit of Initial Research from Reputable/Official Government Organization

To become more familiar with the grim but necessary-to-know realities of mass shootings in America, read up on it on secure websites provided by the government (these are the .gov websites: if you see an https:// at the beginning of the URL, it means you're safely connected and can share sensitive information, if need be). Or visit a site that belongs to a neutral research/watchdog organization. You can also take an Active Shooter Response e-training course with EasyLlama that will prepare you for it step-by-step.

No doubt, it's terrifying to think about, but it's always better to be mentally and practically prepared for a dangerous scenario than to be caught completely by surprise, feeling helpless.

What To Do in an Event of an Active Shooter

The FBI provides a general active shooter response guide that outlines 3 potential actions to take -- depending on the specific context of the active shooter situation.


If you assess that running is possible in your situation -- do it immediately, heading away from the gunfire. Assist others, if you can, but don't stay behind.

Once you reach safety, call 911 immediately (even if you think that someone else already has), and provide a thorough description of the gunman and the layout of the area. If you can't speak, leave the line open, so that the dispatcher can listen in on what is happening around you.


If running is not an option, look for the most secure space to hide: it should be out of the shooter's view and provide a barrier against bullets, if they are fired in your direction.

Keep the attacker from entering the space by any means necessary: lock the door, block it with as much heavy furniture as you can find/move. Put your phone on silent mode. Avoid windows. Hide behind large objects, stay silent, and wait it out.


Avoid physical confrontation with an armed perpetrator if at all possible! However, sometimes there is no choice but responding to violence with violence. You only get one chance to fight for your life: use foreign objects as weapons, as well as screaming into their ear, biting, scratching, kicking, punching, and throwing things.

Stay Out of the Police's Way

When the authorities arrive, stay calm, keep your hands free and and plain view, don't make sharp movements, and follow their instructions.

Get Active Shooter Training

Visit EasyLlama and request your free assessment for its Active Shooter Response e-training -- and rest easier knowing that, if this emergency happens, you and your employees know what to do to maximize your safety.

Written by: Maria Malyk

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