A rise in corporate security has grown over the years due to the increase in hostile situations which have occurred recently. As gun violence in particular has increased, companies have also increased their need to be prepared for situations that may occur. Having an active shooter response plan is critical as employees need to be prepared mentally and physically if a such event should occur.

Proper training is key as survival is not a skill set, it’s a mindset that all employees should display. Training is critical and should be provided to each employee within the business unit. The training should be mandatory and refreshed every year as plans may change and evolve. Active shooter incidents are usually unpredictable and evolve very quickly. They can happen within a matter of minutes, so it is imperative all employees know the plan and how to react in the moment. In the middle of the chaos, anyone can play a critical role in mitigating the situation with the shooter.

Run, hide and fight are the top three things taught in most active shooter courses. However, every situation is different and may require a different approach. Employees should be trained by professional security experts who have a background in emergency response situations. The training provided should be designed to help increase personal resiliency with the likelihood of surviving such an event. While every event is different and may play out differently, the goal is for employees to recognize signs that trouble may be near and how to react to it.

Often, there are visible signs of an active shooter, which can be quickly identified if one is paying attention. Individuals are trained to be aware of what’s going on around them. If something feels odd or doesn’t seem right, it is always best to say something or alert authorities. It is always better to be safe than sorry especially in active shooter situations. Training provides employees with a plan of action and how to act on it. It is critical for employees to know where all exits are located and what would be the quickest way to exit if faced with a situation.

Getting as far away from the shooter as possible is most important. If possible, run in the opposite direction. If in the middle of something, drop everything and do not attempt to gather belongings. Make sure all electronic devices are turned off and or on silent, so the shooter is not alerted to your area if device sounds off. If you can help others escape do so, but only if you feel it’s safe to do so. These are a few tips that can help with escaping an active shooter situation in which an individual may be faced with.

Workplaces, schools and hospitals were once seen as safe places void of violence. But we now know that has drastically changed over the years. The importance of knowing the appropriate response plan can be the difference between life and death.

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