The tragic deaths and injuries of the past few weeks have put a spotlight on the horrific consequences of an active shooter on a college campus. They’ve also sparked many discussions about what students and faculty should do when confronted by an active shooter.

Active Shooter = A Life and Death Situation

The fact is that an active shooter incident is one of – if not the most – terrifying and confusing situations that most campus employees and students could ever face.

prepared active shooter response

And it’s understandable that after hearing about active shooter incidents, people want to talk about what they might do in that situation or what they think is the right response. But what really matters most is what people actually do.

To make sure your school can handle the situation, you need to get everyone on the same page. This means campus safety training and campus violence prevention are essential to ensuring your school is prepared.

Why Your Campus Needs a Prevention Plan

In recent years, the U.S. has seen a spike in active shooter incidents: from an average of 6.4 incidents annually between 2000 and 2007 to 16.4 incidents annually between 2007 and 2013. And nearly a quarter of those incidents have occurred in an educational environment.1

While statistically speaking, the chance of being a victim in an active shooter incident versus another type of violent incident may be low, the chaotic and confusing nature of these incidents – and the possibility of high numbers of casualties – means your campus needs to have a prevention plan in place.

What Does Being Prepared Mean?

Being prepared means that you not only have a plan in place, but you’ve also trained your employees and students on what they should do in the event of an active shooter on campus. A few things they should be trained on include:

  • A history of active shooter incidents at other schools
  • Signs an event might be happening
  • A protocol of response such as Escape, Hide, Fight
  • Plans for dealing with aftermath trauma

A good training plan gets employees and students to put themselves in the situation; critically evaluate what they would do; learn a method for response; and most importantly, how to act quickly.

If you have questions about preparing for your active shooter response, contact us today.

1FBI Releases Study on Active Shooter Incidents, Federal Bureau of Investigation, September 24, 2014.

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