Active shooter/killer incidents are on the rise and can occur anywhere at anytime. An active shooter/killer is an individual who attempts to kill numerous people with a firearm, knife, vehicle, or other device, usually in a confined space. On average, these volatile events last between 10 to 15 minutes. Quick thinking individuals can often mitigate the amount of destruction wrought by enacting the following safety measures recommended by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.  

Be sure to visit the links provided at the end of this page to watch training videos and keep up to date with the latest recommendations from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.



1. RUN & ESCAPE - if possible.
    • LEAVE your belongings behind and get away from the shooter.
    • HELP others escape, if possible, but evacuate regardless of whether others agree to follow.
    • WARN and prevent individuals from entering the area of danger, if you can do so safely.
    • CALL 911 when you are safe, and describe the shooter, location, and weapons.
      • Be Prepared to Provide:
        • Location of the active shooter.
        • Number and type of weapons held by shooters.
        • Number of potential victims at the location.
        • Number of Shooters.
        • Physical description of shooters.
Hide2. HIDE - if escape is not possible.
    • GET OUT of the shooter's view and stay very quiet.
    • SILENCE all electronic devices and make sure they won't vibrate.
    • LOCK AND BLOCK doors, close blinds, and turn off lights.
    • COMMUNICATE with police silently. Use text message or social media to tag your location, or put a sign in a window.
fight3. FIGHT - only as an absolute last resort.
    • COMMIT to your actions and act as aggressively as possible against the shooter.
    • RECRUIT others to ambush the shooter with makeshift weapons like chairs, fire extinguishers, scissors, books, etc.
    • BE PREPARED to cause severe or lethal injury to the shooter.
    • THROW items and improvised weapons to distract and disarm the shooter.
    Questions50x50        4. AFTER
    • KEEP HANDS visible and empty. Officers need to control the situation and suspects sometimes hide among the victims.
    • FOLLOW law enforcement instructions and evacuate in the direction they come from, unless otherwise instructed.
    • PROVIDE first aid while you wait for first responders to arrive.
    • TURN wounded people onto their sides if they are unconscious and keep them warm.

DHS Private Citizen Resources
Quick Reference Guide
How to Respond Booklet
How to Respond Poster
Preparedness Video
Pathway to Violence Video