SURVIVING AN ACTIVE SHOOTER

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With the recent Active Shooter incidents throughout the United States, the department is concerned about everyone’s safety and wanted to share some safety information with you from the Department of Homeland Security and Ready Houston Texas.

Active Shooter Incidents

Losing a loved one to a random act of violence is unthinkable. Unfortunately, recent events serve to remind us that we are not immune to these types of tragedies.

As we know, an active shooting event can occur at any time or any place. An active shooter is an individual actively engaged in killing or attempting to kill people in a confined and populated area. In most cases, there is no pattern or method to their selection of victims.

Most active shooter situations are unpredictable and evolve quickly. Because most incidents are over within minutes, we must be prepared to deal with the situation until law enforcement personnel arrive.

And, preparedness and awareness are the keys to helping protect our employees, our customers, and ourselves.

If you suspect a potential active shooter situation, you must quickly determine the most reasonable way to protect your own life. If there is an accessible escape path, attempt to evacuate the premises.

Always have an escape route and plan in mind even if you are just visiting. And, make sure to leave your belongings behind and keep your hands visible.

If evacuation is not possible, you should find a place to hide where the active shooter is less likely to find you. Block entry to your hiding place and lock the doors. Use heavy items to barricade yourself if possible. And, remember to remain quiet and silence your cell phone or pager.

As a last resort, and only when your life is in imminent danger, you should attempt to incapacitate the shooter by acting with physical aggression and throwing items at the active shooter. Call 911 when it is safe to do so.

If you are a manager or uniformed official, employees and customers are likely to follow your lead. So, it’s essential that you remain calm and take immediate action. The key is to be aware of your environment and any possible dangers.

However, if you do need to respond, remember: try to evacuate. If you cannot evacuate, then hide. As a last resort, take action. Remember:

 CALL 911 WHEN IT IS SAFE TO DO SO!

In many cases, there is no pattern or method to the selection of victims by an active shooter, and these situations are, by their very nature, unpredictable and evolve quickly. Resources such as posters and pocket guides raise awareness of the indicators of an active shooter incident and how to respond.

Please visit these links for more information on Active Shooters and resources that are available:

The video depicted below is a Department of Homeland Security Grant Funded Project, produced by the City of Houston’s Mayor’s Office of Public Safety and Homeland Security. The City of Houston grants permission to use the video in the format provided for its intended purpose only, information and awareness training for the general population. 

For more information on how to be prepared for an active shooter and to view or order a copy of the Are You Ready? DVD, which includes the Run.Hide.Fight video, visit ReadyHoustonTX.gov. Citizens are always encouraged to report suspicious behavior. If you see something, say something by dialing 9-1-1 in an emergency.