Preparing for the Unthinkable: an Active Shooter

Stories of shootings fill the news headlines on a daily basis. The worst incidents are when an active shooter appears in a populated area and tries to do as much damage as possible. Unfortunately, they are becoming more frequent in our country.

According to the FBI, there have been 220 active shooter incidents between 2000 and 2016. The attacks have been increasing at an alarming rate, with just one incident in 2000 and 20 shooting incidents per year in 2014, 2015, and 2016.

The idea of an active shooter is terrifying. But letting that fear paralyze you—or simply hoping that it never happens—won’t protect you. There are things you can do to prevent and prepare for this type of threat.

How active shooters operate

First, it’s helpful to understand the nature of active shooter situations. They can unfold very quickly and appear quite random. Often, the shooter is someone who has a mental illness, is looking for revenge, or is acting on a particular ideology.

These attacks usually occur in a place where many people are confined. More than 45 percent of active shooter incidents occur in businesses, including shopping malls. The rest take place in government properties, school and university campuses, health care facilities, churches, and open areas.

What you can do

How can you protect yourself from the threat of an active shooter? The key is to learn as much as you can, then apply that knowledge if and when the need arises. Everyone can benefit from training. The Fedeal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) all have educational resources that you can access.

If you would like to take a course in person, AGB offers workplace safety training on Active Shooter Preparedness. Following are some of our training topics.

  • Conduct a threat assessment inside your business or organization
  • Complete thorough background screenings and checks
  • Establish reporting systems for potential threats
  • Employ good management and counseling practices
  • Train leadership on conflict resolution
  • Develop emergency action plans for lockdown situations
  • Conduct training exercises
  • Train employees on situational awareness and how to report warning signals

This is how you should respond if you hear gunshots or believe a threat is imminent.

  1. Run: Be aware of the two nearest exits in any facility you visit and evacuate if you can.
  2. Hide: If you can’t escape, then shield yourself from the shooter behind a locked or barricaded door. Stay quiet and silence your cell phone.
  3. Fight: As a last resort, be physically aggressive and attack the shooter with any heavy or blunt object at your disposal.
Ready to learn more?

For details on AGB’s Active Shooter Preparedness class and other Professional Training courses, send us an email.


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