How to respond during an active shooter situation
By Ashleigh Petersen
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How to respond during an active shooter situation

Take 5 for Safety is a monthly article designed to give equipment and event rental stores the information they need to conduct a five-minute safety meeting on a particular topic. Below are talking points for this month’s meeting. Flip the page over and you’ll find a sign-up sheet where attendance of the meeting can be recorded. These pages may be cut out of this Safety Issue and kept in a company’s records.

Introduction: An active shooter is defined as an individual actively engaged in killing or attempting to kill people in a confined and populated area; in most cases, active shooters use firearms and there is no pattern or method to their selection of victims.

Active shooter situations are unpredictable and evolve quickly. Typically, the immediate deployment of law enforcement is required to stop the shooting. Until help arrives, individuals must be prepared both mentally and physically to deal with an active shooter situation.

How to respond when an active shooter is in your vicinity:

1. Evacuate

  • Have an escape route and plan in mind.
  • Leave your belongings behind.
  • Keep your hands visible.

2. Hide out

  • Hide in an area out of the active shooter’s view.
  • Block entry to your hiding place and lock the doors.
  • Silence your cell phone.

3. Take action

  • As a last resort and only when your life is in imminent danger.
  • Attempt to incapacitate the active shooter.
  • Act with physical aggression and throw items at the active shooter.

Call 911 when it is safe to do so.

How you should react when law enforcement personnel arrives:

  • Remain calm and follow officers’ instructions.
  • Avoid pointing, screaming and/or yelling.
  • Immediately raise hands and spread fingers.
  • Do not stop to ask officers for help or direction when evacuating, just proceed in the direction from which officers are entering the premises.
  • Keep hands visible at all times.
  • Avoid making quick movements toward officers such as attempting to hold on to them for safety.

Information you should provide to law enforcement or 911 operator:

  • Location of the active shooter.
  • Number and type of weapons held by the shooter(s).
  • Number of shooters, if there is more than one.
  • Physical description of the shooter(s).
  • Number of potential victims at the location.

Source: U.S. Department of Homeland Security

Ashleigh Petersen

Ashleigh PetersenAshleigh Petersen

Ashleigh Petersen is the digital communications manager for Rental Management. She writes news and feature articles, plus coordinates the monthly Safety Issue and several sections in the magazine. Ashleigh loves spending time with her husband and young son, baking, gardening and listening to true crime and comedy podcasts.

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