What Every Mover Should Know to Prepare for an Active Shooter Event

June 10, 2022

By Casey Myers

Unfortunately, active shooter situations have become all too common. As a business owner or leader, you recognize that the safety of employees and customers is of the utmost importance. Preparing an Emergency Action Plan (EAP), training employees and implementing preventative measures will go a long way towards saving lives if the unthinkable happens.

To best prepare your staff for an active shooter situation, create an EAP and conduct training exercises. Together, the EAP and training exercises will prepare your staff to effectively respond and help minimize loss of life.

Components of an EAP

An effective EAP includes the following:

  • A preferred method for reporting fires and other emergencies
  • An evacuation policy and procedure
  • Emergency escape procedures and route assignments (e.g., floor plans or safe areas)
  • Contact information for, and responsibilities of, individuals to be contacted under the EAP
  • Information concerning local area hospitals (e.g., the name, telephone number and distance from your location)
  • An emergency notification system to alert various parties of an emergency including the following:
    • Individuals at remote locations within premises
    • Local law enforcement
    • Local area hospitals

Components of Training Exercises

The most effective way to train your staff to respond to an active shooter situation is to conduct mock active shooter training exercises. Local law enforcement is an excellent resource in designing training exercises.

Training components may include the following:

  • Recognizing the sound of gunshots
  • Reacting quickly when gunshots are heard and/or when a shooting is witnessed:
    • Evacuating the area
    • Hiding out
    • Acting against the shooter as a last resort
  • Calling 911
  • Reacting when law enforcement arrives
  • Adopting the survival mindset during times of crisis

 

Additional Ways to Prepare for and Prevent an Active Shooter Situation

Below are steps you can take to improve preparedness:

  • Ensure your facility has at least two evacuation routes.
  • Post evacuation routes in conspicuous locations throughout your facility.
  • Include local law enforcement and first responders during training exercises.
  • Encourage law enforcement, emergency responders, SWAT teams, K-9 teams and bomb squads to train for an active shooter scenario at your location.

 

Attached is a booklet that can help you and your team create an EAP and work with your employees to prepare, it also includes links to OSHA and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security for additional information. We sincerely hope that this is training you never have to use.