Knowing what to do can save lives.
When in an active shooter situation, the department of Homeland Security says to determine the most reasonable way to protect your life quickly. Customers and clients in business with you are likely to follow your lead or that of other managers or employees.
Homeland Security says you have 3 options:
evacuate the building,
hide from the shooter,
or act against the shooter.
This response is known as Run, Hide, Fight.
Often, the best choice is to evacuate the active shooter area. For evacuations:
Always know two exits and escape routes in every building you visit.
Guide others to the escape route and prevent them from entering the shooting zone.
Exit whether others follow you or not.
Don’t attempt to move wounded people.
Keep your hands visible at all times and follow police instructions.
Find a place to hide out if you can’t escape an active shooter scenario.
Ideally, stay in or find an office with a door to lock and barricade.
Stay out of sight of windows.
Silence your cell phone, turn off radios, TVs, etc., and stay quiet.
If you can’t evacuate or hide, call 911, talk to the dispatcher, or leave the phone line open so they can listen and record events. If possible, describe the location of the shooting, the shooter, and the weapons. Remain calm, listen, and think about your next moves.
Only as a last resort, and if your life is in “imminent danger,” should you act against the shooter. If you must take action, “aggressively and overwhelmingly” attack the shooter with improvised weapons.
Throw things and yell at the shooter. Law enforcement recommends you “commit to your actions,” so don’t hesitate or stop mid-action.
When law enforcement arrives at an active shooter scene, their priority will be to stop the shooter. They will go past wounded victims and may push people to the ground to stop the violence.
Listen to officer commands.
Keep your hands visible, raised, with fingers spread wide.
Don’t shout, grab, point, or make distracting noises during officer response.