What would I do in an active shooter assault? Am I prepared? What if it happens at work, or in a crowded public space? Am I less prepared for an event at a place I am less familiar with? What if I am a business owner? How prepared is my workforce to respond appropriately to this emergency? Are my emergency plans up to date? What happens afterwards? What will my employees need to recover?
These are some of the questions that are raised after hearing about an active shooter event. Every news channel is leading with the story, and it is the leading topic of conversation-until it’s not. The broader question is, how many of these answers should you have before an incident occurs and, where should you look to get answers to these questions and more?
First, we need to acknowledge that active shooter assaults, incidents where an armed individual is in the act of harming people in a populated area, are a terrible societal phenomenon that are increasing in frequency. According to the FBI, there was a 53% increase of active shooter incidents between 2020 (40) and 2021 (61). The constant news cycle and the digital access to information make it impossible to escape this reality.
So, back to the basic questions, am I prepared and what would I do? In this discussion, we will identify positive steps and measures that can be taken to improve your preparedness to make you or your company a more resilient target. We will start with an organizational approach and then address the individual perspective.
For the individual’s response to an active shooter assault, the most important tool is the mindset and ability to recognize the threat and react accordingly.
As an employer, don’t let complacency be the reason your organization is not prepared. If you are not confident about the effectiveness of your existing emergency plans or mitigation strategies, leverage the available resources to assist you with assessing and/or changing your policies and security controls. If you don’t have an effective training program and are unsure about the mindset and preparedness of your workforce, correct it. Find opportunities to train and take advantage of available training resources. Put the policies, procedures, and effective security measures in place to make your workplace a hardened and unattractive target for an active shooter attack.
With the proper training, policies, mindset, and mitigation strategies the chance of responding effectively to an active shooter assault is improved. We are here to help you prepare.
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