Last weeks’ deadly shooting at the Naval Air Station (NAS) in Pensacola, Florida, is a sad reminder that mass shootings can happen anywhere. And, we do mean anywhere—at school, church, work, the movie theatre, Wal-Mart® or Waffle House®. For this reason, it is imperative for organizations, public or private, large or small, to better prepare themselves for what most believe to be the worst of worst-case scenarios, an active shooter. Here are three simple tips that emergency planners can use right away.
- Have the conversation. Talking about the real possibility of an active shooter situation may not be easy, but it is an important conversation to have. Candid discussions can help put certain fears to rest, and potentially lend to the development or improvement of your organization’s emergency plan(s). These talks may also encourage people to actually speak up if they think something does not look or sound right, potentially thwarting a real-life event.
- Apply the things you already know. Chances are your organization already has some type of emergency plan, or plans, in place. These most likely include procedures for evacuation, lockdown, etc. In an active shooter situation, it is vital that employees know where to hide, such as a meeting room or stairwell, along with specific actions they can take to secure their safety (and the safety of others). Document these details fully within the emergency plan(s), and remind everyone of these measures as often as possible. Aside from formal emergency preparedness training, discuss the topic during regularly scheduled meetings so it stays top of mind. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)<