Active Shooter occurrences have become a concern for workplaces in recent years.  Incidents may occur without warning.  Although total prevention may not be attainable, actions can be taken to minimize impact to the business and employees.

An active shooter is defined as “any individual actively engaged in killing or attempting to kill in a confined and populated area”.  According to a recent FBI study, active shooter incidents doubled in the periods of 2007 to 2013 compared to 2000 to 2006.

An active shooter can be a stranger, customer, client, workers and coworkers, or anyone who has a personal relationship with an employee.  Therefore, businesses and organizations should be prepared at all times and have an effective emergency plan in place.  The emergency plan needs to ensure clear guidance on what to do and what not to do in the event of an active shooter occurrence.

 Plans should be tailored to specific sites as follows:

  1. Consultation with local law enforcement agency.

  2. Crisis Management Team to conduct a facility assessment.

  3. Use of USDHS, FEMA and the FBI active shooter preparedness resources to assist with training and coordinated planning.

  4. Include how employees will respond at different locations.

  5. Floor plan to ensure at least two clear escape plans and meeting areas.

  6. Conduct regular drills so employees understand their role and responsibility.

  7. Make plans on how to account for everyone following an event.

  8. Train employees to encourage customers and quests to follow them to escape routes and meeting areas.

Other Considerations:

  1. Communication – maintain a confidential procedure to allow workers to report suspicious or potential violent behavior.

  2. Escape Plans and Meeting Areas – steps in advance to determine clear communication channels.

  3. Insurance – address current policies for applicable coverages and additional coverages if applicable.

    1. Coverage for Terrorism plus Public Sector Risks

    2. Disaster Management Insurance

    3. Terrorism Risk Insurance Program Reauthorization Act of 2015 (TRPRA 2015)

  4. Post-Incident Management – predestinated company representative or legal counsel to properly deal with victims and manage communications.


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