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The Appropriate Emergency Action Procedure for an Active Shooter

The Appropriate Emergency Action Procedure for an Active Shooter

Employers are often required by law to develop an Emergency Action Plan (EAP) in order to actively prepare for the event of an emergency, such as a building fire. SoloProtect recently released a free, downloadable guide that outlines just how to go about building such an Emergency Action Plan, accessible here. For the purposes of this blog post, we will be going over one of the several important sections of your EAP- the section in which responses to specific hazards are laid out.

This section requires an intensive examination of and accounting for the types of dangerous conditions that could potentially occur within your workplace. This assessment should be tailored specifically to your company, including the source of where and how this danger could occur. Causes of hazards can typically fall under one of three categories: building incidents, human-caused incidents and natural disasters.

Once you have identified hazards and dangers that apply to your workplace specifically, you will want to develop procedures specific to these hazards on a micro level for individuals within the company as well as emergency response methods on a macro level as an entire workplace strategy. Below, we will show an example of a micro level procedure by specific hazard. Because the possibility of an active shooter within the workplace has unfortunately become much more likely as of lately, we have chosen to take this time to lay out an example of how someone in the workplace should respond to this situation below:

  • If it has been reported that there is an active shooter within the worksite and it is possible for you to safely and quickly get out, do so via your nearest exit.
  • If you are able to hear shots being fired, don’t wait to be directed. Get out as quickly as possible and without stopping for any personal belongings.
  • Once you have exited the worksite and are in a safe location, dial 911 and relay as much information as possible. Notify those nearby to stay away from the area.

If you are blocked from your method of exit by the shooter, follow these guidelines:

  • Look for a protected and hidden room to hide in Avoid any locations that may hinder your ability to move. If possible, try to find a room with a locking door.
  • If you are unable to find a room that locks, create a barricade at the door by using the heaviest objects that you can find.
  • Once you are in the room, turn off all lights and anything that may make any noise.
  • Remain silent. Only call 911 if you believe that you are able to do so without notifying the shooter of your location.
  • If you are with other people, spread out to different locations to make the shooter less likely to find you all.

If you come face-to-face with the shooter, do whatever it takes to survive. Fight back using improvised weapons of opportunity. Scream and shout to draw attention to yourself. Take all necessary actions that may lead to your safety.

For more specific responses by hazardous conditions including fires, severe weather, bomb threats and more, see our free guide, “Building Your Emergency Action Plan.” To learn more about how SoloProtect can aid in workplace safety, visit


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