Active Shooter Situations: Exercises
Most IHEs practice evacuation drills for fires and protective measures for tornadoes, but far fewer IHEs practice for active shooter situations. To be prepared for an active shooter incident, IHEs should train their staff, students, and families, as appropriate, in what to expect and how to react. In a study of 84 active shooter events which occurred between 2000 and 2010, 34 percent involved schools or IHEs.22
Good planning includes conducting drills that must include first responders and campus public safety. Exercises with these valuable partners are one of the most effective and efficient ways to ensure that everyone knows not only her or his role(s) but also the role(s) of others at the scene. These exercises should include walks through IHE buildings to allow law enforcement officials to provide input on shelter sites as well as familiarize first responders with the campus, including accessible shelter locations and evacuation routes for people with disabilities and others with access and functional needs.
Each person carries a three-fold responsibility.
- First: Learn the signs of a potentially volatile situation and ways to prevent an incident.
- Second: Learn the best steps for survival when faced with an active shooter situation.
- Third: Be prepared to work with law enforcement during the response.