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  • Donald E. Hester

Active Shooter Preparedness: Resources for Organizations and Individuals

In today's uncertain world, being prepared for unexpected incidents is crucial. Active shooter incidents have unfortunately become a reality, emphasizing the need for organizations and individuals to take proactive measures to protect themselves and others. By undergoing active shooter training, organizations can safeguard their customers and staff, while individuals can equip themselves with the knowledge and skills necessary to respond effectively in such situations. In this blog post, we have compiled a list of valuable resources from the federal government to aid in active shooter preparedness, including strategies for early detection, de-escalation techniques, and general safety measures.


Early Warning and Prevention

Early detection of individuals who may pose a threat is a vital aspect of active shooter preparedness. By recognizing warning signs and implementing preventive measures, potential incidents can be averted. The following resources provide guidance on identifying and reporting concerning behavior:

  • Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI): Behavioral Threat Assessment Center - This resource offers information on identifying potential threats, including indicators of violent behavior and strategies for reporting concerns. www.fbi.gov

  • Department of Homeland Security (DHS): See Something, Say Something Campaign - This initiative encourages individuals to report suspicious activity to local law enforcement to help prevent acts of violence. www.dhs.gov

De-escalation Techniques

De-escalation is a critical skill that can help defuse volatile situations before they escalate into violence. Training in de-escalation techniques empowers individuals to manage conflicts and reduce the risk of harm. The following resources offer valuable insights into de-escalation strategies:

  • Crisis Prevention Institute (CPI): Nonviolent Crisis Intervention - This program provides training on recognizing escalating behavior, diffusion techniques, and methods for ensuring personal safety. www.crisisprevention.com

  • National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH): Workplace Violence Prevention for Nurses - Although focused on the healthcare industry, this resource offers practical guidance on violence prevention strategies applicable to various settings. www.cdc.gov

Run, Hide, Fight

The "Run, Hide, Fight" strategy has been widely recognized as an effective response to active shooter situations. Remembering these three simple actions can save lives. The following resources elaborate on this strategy and offer guidance on executing it effectively:

  • Department of Homeland Security (DHS): Active Shooter Preparedness - This comprehensive guide outlines the "Run, Hide, Fight" strategy, emphasizing situational awareness, escape planning, and self-defense techniques. www.ready.gov

  • Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA): Active Shooter: How to Respond - This interactive online course provides practical information on responding to an active shooter incident, including guidance on evacuation, sheltering in place, and interacting with law enforcement. www.training.fema.gov

Active Threat Preparedness

While active shooter incidents are a significant concern, it's essential to prepare for a broader range of threats. Individuals should be aware of various tactics that can be employed to cause harm in crowded places. The following resources help individuals stay prepared for active threats:

  • Department of Homeland Security (DHS): Active Shooter and Other Workplace Violence Prevention - This resource provides guidance on identifying potential risks, developing emergency action plans, and fostering a safe work environment. www.dhs.gov

  • Stop the Bleed: Bleeding Control Training - This initiative aims to empower individuals to take immediate action in life-threatening bleeding situations. By acquiring basic bleeding control skills, individuals can potentially save lives during an active threat incident. www.stopthebleed.org

Active shooter preparedness is a shared responsibility that extends to both organizations and individuals. By utilizing the resources provided by the federal government, organizations can enhance their security measures, and individuals can gain the knowledge and skills necessary to protect themselves and others. Remember, early detection, de-escalation, and the "Run, Hide, Fight" strategy are essential elements of active shooter preparedness. Additionally, understanding that active threats can manifest in various forms is crucial for comprehensive readiness. Stay informed, stay prepared, and together, we can mitigate the risks associated with such incidents.


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