Atlanta, Georgia – As a part of emergency preparedness, more and more companies are recognizing the need for an active shooter plan. Active shooter threats can happen anywhere and at any time, which is why you and your employees should be adequately prepared.
Create a Notification System
The ability of everyone inside your business to remain safe depends on early notification. Your notification system should be subtle enough not to attract the attention of the shooter, as this may only infuriate him or her more. Text messaging and email alerts are ideal ways to let others know about an active shooter so that they can take the necessary precautions.
Plan a Course of Action
The best course of action to take when faced with an active shooter is to evacuate. Go through your building and look for possible escape routes, and then make sure your employees know where all of them are located. Advise everyone that during an active shooter incident, they should:
- Evacuate immediately, regardless of whether or not others choose to do so
- Leave their personal possessions behind
- Call 911 once they have successfully exited the building. Advise them not to call during the exit, as this could only slow them down
- Not re-enter the building until told it is safe to do so by emergency personnel
Inform your employees that if they are unable to escape, they should attempt to hide from the active shooter instead. The ideal hiding spot will be out of the shooter’s view, and provide them some degree of protection in the event shots are fired. Even so, it should not restrict their movements so much they will be unable to escape, as you don’t want them to be “sitting ducks” for the shooter.
An exception to this rule is if the active shooter can be denied access to a certain area. Going into an office, locking the door, and then placing a piece of furniture in front of the doorway will provide a great deal of safety for those inside it.
Make sure everyone knows to place cell phones on silent during an active shooter incident. That way, no one will inadvertently give up his or her hiding spot due to a cell phone ringing or vibrating. Individuals should also avoid calling 911 during this time as well.
Aside from putting together a plan, the next most important thing you can do is to practice it on a regular basis. That way, your workers will be better prepared should an active shooter incident break out in your building. For even more ideas on staying safe in the workplace, contact us.