Pre-planning for an active shooter will be your best chance for surviving an incident. Be aware of your escape routes, know how you will respond, and be prepared to take action to fight the intruder as a last resort.
WSU teaches a Run, Hide, Fight protocol in the event of an active shooter situation. Should you find yourself in this situation, you alone must assess and determine which option will provide the greatest degree of security.
Alert, Assess, Act: If you become aware of an active shooter threat, assess your situation and choose the best action:
RUN: Evacuate If Possible
- Assess your situation.
- If you can escape, quickly evacuate from the building and call 911 from a safe location.
- Leave your belongings behind.
- Help others escape if possible, but do not stay behind if others will not go.
- Keep your hands visible to law enforcement.
HIDE: Hide silently in as safe a place as possible
- If it is not safe to evacuate, hide in an area out of the intruder’s view.
- Lock and barricade the door to prevent entry.
- Turn off lights, close blinds, and silence cell phones and other electronics.
FIGHT: If you cannot run or hide, and are located by the attacker, take action to disrupt or incapacitate the shooter
- As a last resort, and only if your life is in danger, you may choose to fight.
- Take action to incapacitate the shooter.
- Act with physical aggression against the shooter.
- Commit to your actions- your life depends on it.
- Do not pick up the attacker’s weapon. Kick it away, sit on it, do whatever is necessary to keep it from the attacker, but do not pick it up. Responding police will identify anyone with a weapon as a potential threat.
When law enforcement arrives:
- Remain calm and follow instructions.
- Keep your hands raised and visible at all times.
- Avoid pointing, screaming or yelling.
- Avoid quick movements toward officers.
- Remember, the first officers on scene will not help the injured on the way into the building. There will be rescue teams who follow to treat those who are injured.
WSU Police present active shooter training regularly. For more information, click here.
FEMA and the Emergency Management Institute offer a free, online training about how individuals can respond to active shooter incidents. Access this training by clicking here.