Active Shooter Awareness

Active Shooter Awareness



An active shooter on a college campus is an extremely rare event, but can be deadly and extremely psychologically harmful to witnesses and/or survivors. Even though these situations are rare, you need to prepare and be ready to stay alive. These types of situations happen quickly and your actions will be critical in preserving your life.

As stated above, these incidents usually happen quickly. When a suspect enters a college building to commit acts of violence, the college may be unable to provide any warning that a person with a gun is on campus. The first warning you receive may be the sounds of gunfire. Once you become aware of the situation, TAKE IMMEDIATE ACTION.

Get Out:

  • Your best option is ALWAYS to run, get out, and get away!
  • Think in advance about how you would get out; know the paths to the nearest exits and weather it would be possible to escape through a window.

Call Out:

  • First, get to a safe place, and then call 718-409-7311 from a non-college phone or 911 from a college phone.

If it is safe, stay on the line and give the police the best information you can:

  • Your specific location/building name and office/room number
  • Number of people at your specific location
  • Injuries and the number of injured, types of injuries
  • Assailants(s) location, number of suspects, race and gender, clothing description, physical features, types of weapons (long gun or hand gun), backpack, shooter identity if known, separate explosions from gunfire, etc.

Hide Out and Keep Out:

  • If you are not able to get out of your room or office, lock and/or barricade the door
  • Turn off lights, close blinds, and silence cell phones
  • Hide under or behind something
  • Be aware that if you are hiding when the police come, they will be seeking a threat and will not know who you are; show your hands and obey their commands.

Take Out:

  • Running away is always your best option. However, if there is no way to run, hide out, or keep out, your only choice may be to fight.
  • Convince yourself that you have what it takes to survive when your life is on the line.
  • Remember that if you must “take out”, you are fighting for your life.

What to Expect from Responding Officers:

  • Police Officers will not stop to aid wounded or injured.
  • They will continue on to contain and stop the threat (shooter).
  • Keep your hands empty and in plain view at all time for police.
  • Follow directions exactly and carry nothing that can be mistaken as a weapon.
  • Police or medical rescues teams will follow and move you to safety, but only after the first responding officers.

What else can you do?

  • Prepare a plan of action for an active shooter in advance.
  • Determine possible escape routes and know where the nearest building exits are.

Active Shooter Training Online:

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Independent Study Course titled: Active Shooter, What You Can Do (IS-907), is a no-cost training course developed to provide the public with guidance on how to prepare for and respond to active shooter crisis situations. This training is available through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Emergency Management Institute (EMI) at

The training is targeted to reach a broad range of individuals, including managers and employees, so they can prepare to respond to an active shooter situation.

The course is self-paced and takes about 45 minutes to complete. Upon completion of Active Shooter, What You Can Do, employees and managers will be able to:

  • Describe the actions to take when confronted with an active shooter and responding law enforcement officials.
  • Recognize potential workplace violence indicators.
  • Describe actions to take to prevent and prepare for potential active shooter incidents.
  • Describe how to manage the consequences of an active shooter incident.

A certificate from FEMA EMI is awarded to participants who complete the course and pass a short final exam.

Be Aware and Prepared: Have a plan and mentally rehearse what you would do in this situation. Ask yourself “What if?” and develop your own plan. Remember you may come in contact with the shooter; in that case, you may need to take action, attacking and/or distracting the shooter to survive. Mentally rehearse this and have the mindset that you will WIN & SURVIVE.

Please click here or view the video below on active shooter preparedness.