Active Shooter

It’s essential that the public be aware of the warning signs of a potential "active shooter" and what to do if a serious situation like this happens.

What to Do if There is an Active Shooter

Several high-profile active shooter incidents around the United States have resulted in multiple casualties. People should be prepared if they find themselves in an active shooter situation.

Please take a few minutes to view the video, Run, Hide, Fight. Although the video contains some violent scenes, it outlines practical steps you can take in this situation.

Department of Homeland Security

The Department of Homeland Security website also provides information and free courses, materials and workshops to help better prepare you to deal with an active shooter situation and to raise awareness of behaviors that may represent indicators and characteristics of active shooters.

How to Respond in a Situation

When an active shooter is in your vicinity

1. Evacuate

  • Have an escape route and plan in mind
  • Grab your cell phone but leave the rest of your belongs behind
  • Keep your hands visible

2. Hide Out

  • Hide in an area out of the shooter's view
  • Block entry to your hiding place and lock the doors
  • Silence your cell phone

3. Take Action

  • As a last resort and only when your life is in imminent danger
  • Attempt to incapacitate the shooter
  • Act with physical aggression and throw items at the active shooter

Call 911 when it is safe to do so

How to Respond

When law enforcement arrives

  • Remain calm and follow instructions
  • Put down any items in your hands (i.e., bags, jackets)
  • Raise your hands and spread your fingers
  • Keep hands visible at all times
  • Avoid quick movements toward officers, such as holding on to them for safety
  • Avoid pointing, screaming and yelling
  • Do not stop to ask officers for help or directions when evacuating


  • You should provide to law enforcement or 911 operator
  • Location of the active shooter
  • Number of shooters
  • Physical description of shooters
  • Number and type of weapons held by shooters
  • Number of potential victims at the location

Recognizing signs of potential workplace violence

An active shooter may be a current or former employee

Alert your human resources department if you believe an employee exhibits potentially violent behavior. Indicators of potentially violent behavior may include one or more of the following:

  • Increased use of alcohol and/or illegal drugs
  • Unexplained increase in absenteeism and/or vague physical complaints
  • Depression/withdrawal
  • Increased severe mood swings, and noticeably unstable or emotional responses
  • Increasingly talks of problems at home
  • Increase in unsolicited comments about violence, firearms, and other dangerous weapons and violent crimes

Active Shooter Poster (PDF)