Is Your Organization Prepared for an Active Shooter Situation?

active shooter preparedness

No workplace is immune to the risks of an active shooter incident. However, there are steps you can take to assure your organization is prepared for the worst.

Emergency Action Plan

Tailoring an emergency action plan to your organization helps employees understand the proper procedures for dealing with an active shooter situation and its aftermath.

  • Your plan should include:
    • How to report emergencies to proper authorities and remote locations within the premises.
    • Contact information for area hospitals and emergency personnel.
    • Evacuation policies and procedures.
  • When creating your plan, work with Human Resources and training departments, as well as external resources such as facility owners, property managers, and local law enforcement.

Training Exercises

Training exercises and simulations of active shooter situations can educate employees on your organization’s emergency action plan and reinforce practices that can help save lives.

  • The training should include:
    • Exercises to help recognize and react properly to gunfire.
    • When to call 911.
    • What to do when law enforcement arrives.
    • Exercises to develop a “survival mindset.”
  • Contact local law enforcement and emergency response agencies if you have any questions about the design or facilitation of training exercises.

Preventative Measures

Organizations can take steps to minimize the chances of an active shooter situation.

  • Cultivate a respectful environment in the workplace.
  • The responsibilities of organizational and facility management include the following:
    • Proper screening and background checks
    • Adherence to procedures for reporting violent behavior
    • Implementation of access controls throughout the premises
    • Distribution of floor plans
    • Crisis kits

Warning Signs

Before an incident, active shooters usually exhibit traits of potentially violent behavior over an extended period of time. Know the warning signs and train employees to be aware of them. Employees should report signs of potentially violent behavior to a manager or HR.

Common traits that may be indicative of potentially violent behavior include the following:

  • Feelings of depression or withdrawal
  • Increased use of drugs or alcohol
  • Decreased attention to personal appearance or hygiene habits
  • Resistance to policy or procedural changes or disregarding the existing organizational policies
  • Severe mood swings, unprovoked outbursts of anger, or unstable, overemotional reactions
  • Increased talk of personal issues, suicide or death, firearms, or violent crimes


Please note that this list is not comprehensive, nor is it to be used as a diagnostic tool.

Succeed Management Solutions, LLC offers an Active Shooter Preparedness online training course for your organization that includes information on organizational preparedness, preventive measures, active shooter response, and post-incident actions.