A rash of recent mass shootings have many companies rethinking their procedures for dealing with catastrophic events – especially the training programs or procedures they have in place to help employees respond immediately, if necessary, to an active shooter incident.
In an article recently published on XpertHR Blog, I spoke with editor David Weisenfeld about three fundamental ways employers can better prepare for the risks of an active shooter event. Not surprisingly, training is at the top of my list.
The Importance of Training Employees
Bringing in a local law enforcement agency or a security expert is often a good way to train your employees. But if that’s not practical, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has videos, reference guides and posters that employers can incorporate to increase their employees’ awareness.
As DHS notes, active shooter situations are, by nature, unpredictable and evolve much too quickly. But the agency does offer some recommendations, most notably its classic Run/Hide/Fight approach:
- Run – Getting away from the shooter is the top priority;
- Hide – In a safe place until law enforcement gives the all clear; and
- Fight – As an absolute last resort. Throw items and improvise weapons like chairs, fire extinguishers, etc. to distract and disarm the shooter.
Additionally, employees also should know how to act when law enforcement arrives on the scene after an active shooter event, including the following:
- Keeping their hands visible at all times;
- Avoiding quick movements towards officers; and
- Following instructions.