Active shooters in America are an ongoing threat and their actions lead to tragedy. Your company should be prepared to handle this event and to deal with its aftermath by setting up active shooter protocols in advance.
These protocols can provide employees with instructions on how to act in the event of an active shooter incident. This set of guidelines can also detail steps to mitigate the fallout of an active shooter situation.
What Is An Active Shooter Incident?
Active shooter events occur when individuals attack others with guns in the workplace. This can take place in schools and places of business. Active shooters may be disgruntled employees, customers, or individuals with an ideological justification for their actions. Regardless of their motivations, these shooters can cause massive losses of life.
Active shooter incidents can also require extensive remodeling in the attacked location. Additionally, these events can directly lead to higher costs for workers compensation. They can also make it incredibly difficult for a company’s employees to feel safe and secure in the future. All of these issues can negatively impact your company over a long period of time.
Setting up active shooter protocols may help mitigate some of these issues for your company.
What Are Active Shooter Protocols?
Active shooter protocols set out a standard for employee behavior related to active shooter incidents. This begins by ensuring that your company provides employees with a method to come forward if they feel threatened. This early warning may come before an active shooter incident and it could give your company time to prevent the incident.
These protocols also guide the actions of employees during an active shooter incident. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security recommends the following actions
- Run, or evacuate the area. The first goal of your employees should be to get as far away from the active shooter as possible. Employees should be trained to leave any belongings behind and to keep others away from area surrounding the active shooter.
- Hide. In situations where employees cannot escape the active shooter’s area, staying hidden is their next best option. Employees should try to find a room with a locked door if possible and they should make sure any electronic devices are silenced. Remaining calm and quiet are important if this strategy is to be effective.
- Fight, or take action. Acting against the active shooter should be the last resort of your employees. This could include yelling, throwing something or using an improvised weapon, or taking another form of aggressive action.
Your company’s active shooter protocols can also provide employees with guidance on how to respond to the arrival of law enforcement. These law enforcement officers will be focused on their task when they arrive and can be a confusing presence. Employees will need to stay calm. They should be able to provide officers with the following pieces of information:
- The shooter’s location.
- The number of shooters.
- The shooter’s physical description.
- The shooter’s weapons.
- The amount of possible victims.
How Can Companies Prepare For An Active Shooter Incident?
Your company can prepare active shooter protocols in several ways. One preparatory method involves creating an Emergency Action Plan (EAP). These plans contain multiple components, including:
- Methods for employees to report emergencies.
- Evacuation and emergency escape policies.
- Contact information for local hospitals.
Your company can also set up and carry out training exercises to prepare employees for an active shooter incident. These exercises can help employees practice:
- Acting quickly.
- Identifying gunshots.
- Contacting 911.
- Using a survival mindset.
- Responding appropriately to law enforcement.
What Can Your Company Do To Adopt Active Shooter Protocols?
Your company’s active shooter protocols can draw on both an Emergency Action Plan (EAP) and training exercises.
Emergency action plans usually require input from company owners, members of local law enforcement, and the human resources department. Working with an experienced company that offers human resources outsourcing can help your company create an effective and streamlined plan.
Our company has been in business for 11 years and can provide you with the human resources assistance you need on an outsourced basis. You can work with the professionals on our staff if setting up an in-house human resources department doesn’t work for you.
Our skills can be used when setting up active shooter protocols and for other human resource tasks. We’re here to support businesses in the Atlanta area and around the nation. You can contact us by phone or fill out the contact form to set up a free consultation for your company’s human resources needs.