Preparing for an event involving an active shooter whether its a school, church, or workplace environment requires organization and comradery among all person involved. With the right approach to preparedness skills, individuals of all ages can implement important skills to minimize any risk and remain safe.
Let’s take a look at 5 tips to prepare for an active shooter scenario.
1. Develop and Follow a Action Plan.
An emergency action plan is a necessity. This plan allows organizational leaders and administrators to prepare for active shooter emergencies and identify and implement appropriate training programs. The emergency action plan should also be updated regularly to account for new employees, updated CPR and First Aid techniques, and any physical layout modifications made.
2. Implement Lockdown Protocols.
During a lockdown, it is vital to lock all doors and windows and turn off all lights. Second, it is important to sheltered and in place until authorized personnel deliver an “all clear” message. Organizations should establish lockdown protocols and share these emergency procedures with students, faculty, employees, etc on a regular basis. Additionally, schools should perform lockdown drills at different times throughout the year and update their lockdown protocols as needed.
3. Provide Situational Awareness Training.
Situational awareness training allows an organization to educate its employees or students, etc on what to do when something or someone is identified as being suspicious. Further, it is critical to convey the importance of following cues in the identification of any potential risks in an active shooter situation or any emergency situation and communicating this information to authorities and/or law enforcement.
4. Use Active Shooter Drills.
Active shooter drills allow schools and organizations to prepare for the "worst case" scenarios. The active shooter drills encourages preparation of employees, students. and/or staff while also building confidence and skillss in the event that they do need to respond to a real-world situation.
5. Call 911.
For those who shelter in place and have a cell-phone during an active-shooter emergency, call 9-1-1. Then, it it necessary to provide the emergency dispatcher with as much information as possible regarding the event. After speaking, it is important to keep the cell phone on and turn off the ringer so that the 9-1-1 dispatcher can continue to hear what is occurring at the scene.
While an active shooter situation is something that all of us hope we never experience, it is important to be prepared. Through developing a proactive stance toward the development of the skills needed and acquiring the necessary CPR, AED, and First Aid training, students, employees, and staff and administration can gain the skills needed to increase survival when these events occur.
Tracy A. Jones is an American Heart Association, ASHI, and American Red Cross Master Program Trainer, Instructor, & AHA Faculty Member located in San Antonio, Texas.