Tips for Surviving an Active Shooter Attack

How to Respond When an Active Shooter is in Your Vicinity

Quickly determine the most reasonable way to protect your life -- run, hide or fight. Seconds count.


If there is an accessible escape path, evacuate. Act quickly to put as much distance between yourself and the shooter as possible.

  • Have an escape route and plan in mind
  • GO, regardless of whether others agree to follow
  • Leave your belongings
  • Keep your hands visible and empty¬†
  • Help others escape, if possible
  • Prevent individuals from entering an area where the active shooter may be
  • Do not attempt to move wounded people
  • Call 911 when it's safe to do so


If you cannot escape, find a place to hide and barricade yourself.

  • Choose a place that is out of view
  • Lock the door and block it with heavy furniture or office equipment
  • Hide behind solid objects away from the door
  • If possible, choose a place that doesn't trap you or restrict your options to move
  • Turn off lights and computers
  • Silence your phone and keep quiet
  • Call 911 if it's safe; if you can't speak, just stay on the line


As a last resort, and only if your life is in danger and you cannot flee, attempt to take the shooter down. Your chance of survival is greater if you try to incapacitate the shooter by:

  • Acting as aggressivley as possible
  • Throwing items and improvising weapons
  • Yelling
  • Committing to your actions


When Law Enforcement Arrives

Law enforcement will act to stop the active shooter as soon as possible. Officers will proceed directly to where the last shots were heard.

  • Officers may be armed with many weapons and may wear tactical equipment
  • Officers may shout commands and push people to the ground for their safety
  • The first officers on the scene will not stop to help injured persons

How to react when officers arrive:

  • Remain calm and follow instructions
  • Keep hands visible and empty
  • Avoid any quick movements toward officers; avoid pointing
  • Do not attempt to stop officers to ask for help
  • Evacuate in the direction from which officers are entering the premises