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Active Shooter Preparedness

Active Shooter Profile

An Active Shooter is an individual actively engaged in killing or attempting to kill people in a confined and populated area; in most cases, active shooters use firearms(s) and there is no pattern or method to their selection of victims. Active shooter situations are unpredictable and evolve quickly. Typically, the immediate deployment of law enforcement is required to stop the shooting and mitigate harm to victims. Because active shooter situations are often over within 10 to 15 minutes, before law enforcement arrives on the scene, individuals must be prepared both mentally and physically to deal with an active shooter situation.

What You Can Do

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has developed an independent study course entitled Active Shooter: What You Can Do. This course was developed to provide the public with guidance on how to prepare for and respond to active shooter crisis situations.

Upon completion of Active Shooter: What You Can Do, employees and managers will be able to:

  • Describe the actions to take when confronted with an active shooter and to assist responding law enforcement officials;
  • Recognize potential workplace violence indicators;
  • Describe actions to take to prevent and prepare for potential active shooter incidents; and
  • Describe how to manage the consequences of an active shooter incident.

The online training is available through the Federal Emergency Management Agency Emergency Management Institute.

Active Shooter Emergency Action Plan

The Active Shooter Emergency Action Plan Guide supplements the Active Shooter Emergency Action Plan Video. Together, they create a virtual training tool designed to help develop an organization’s Active Shooter Emergency Action Plan.

The Active Shooter Emergency Action Plan Video describes the fundamental concepts of developing an Emergency Action Plan (EAP) for an active shooter scenario. This instructive video guides viewers through important considerations of EAP development utilizing the first-hand perspectives of active shooter survivors, first responder personnel, and other subject matter experts who share their unique insight.

The Active Shooter Emergency Action Plan Template is a fillable form useful in documenting an organization’s Active Shooter Emergency Action Plan.

Pathway To Violence

The "Pathway to Violence" video provides information regarding the behavior indicators that assailants often demonstrate before a violent act. Behavior experts reference research conducted by Frederick Calhoun and Steve Weston’s on threat management and further describes the six progressive steps that may be observable by colleagues. The video also includes law enforcement expert interviews that discuss engagement strategies and recommended responses to someone potentially on a pathway to violence.

Download the printer-friendly Pathway to Violence fact sheet that explains warning signs that may lead to violence and what individuals can do to mitigate a potential incident.

"How To Respond" Resource Material

DHS has developed a series of materials to assist businesses, government offices, and schools in preparing for and responding to an active shooter. These resources include a detailed booklet, a desk reference guide, a reference poster, and a pocket-size reference card. DHS has also developed both a Recovery Guide, and an Incident Fact Sheet to assist your organization as you consider the recovery phase of an event. Visit their website to download the resources.

CHLA Partners