If a gunman entered your building, would your employees know how to respond? For example, would your staff know whether to attempt to evacuate the building, or would they try to shelter-in- place?
Here is some advice you can pass onto your employees about what to do if there’s a gunman in your building. As soon as it is safe to do so, call 911 giving the operation your location and physical description of the shooter(s), the type of weapons, and the potential number of victims at your location. Then your staff should do one of the following:
2. Hide out
3. Take action
1. If your escape route is clear then evacuate and get out of the building. This is one reason to practice multiple routes during your fire drills, so employees know different solutions to quickly exit the building. However, the agreed upon location should not be in a parking deck because the shooter or a bomb could be waiting. Also, as you evacuate, keep your hands visible so the police will know you do not have a weapon.
2. If you can’t run, then it’s time to shelter-in-place by barricading yourself in an office and locking the door. This is another great reason to have locks or keycard access to the main entry points for your company. If the gunman does get in, then be sure to hide in an area away from the shooter’s view. Make sure to turn off your cell phone and silence any communication devices as your ringtone would alert the shooter of your presence.
3. If you can’t run or hide — and only as a last resort if your life is in danger — then take action. Act with physical aggression by throwing items at the shooter or try to accost him. This is what the principal in Newtown shooting did, but she ultimately paid with her life. If possible, wait for the authorities, as the shooter will engage in “fight or flight” syndrome and either run or engage the police.
You can download our active shooter tabletop drill to practice a scenario with your crisis management team, or click here to view our active shooter webinar hosted by Bill Hildebrand (a former Atlanta police officer with more than 20 years of experience, plus several years of training with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security). For more information about how Preparis can help your business prepare for the threat of workplace violence, click here to request an intro call.
Marlia Fontaine-Weisse is the Content Manager for Preparis.