Although rare, there have been a growing number of active threat incidents across our nation. An active threat incident is a dynamic, quickly evolving situation involving an individual or actively attempting to harm people inside or outside of a building by using firearms, bladed weapons, or a vehicle.
Sadly, active threat incidents, including mass shootings, can occur anywhere, at any time. Knowing what to do if you are ever faced with an active threat, and acting quickly, can save your life and the lives of others.
If faced with an active shooter/active threat incident, there are THREE things you can do that make a difference. RUN, HIDE, FIGHT.
RUN – When an active shooter is in your vicinity:
- If there is a way out, and you can get out, GET OUT! This is your first and best option.
- Get out whether others agree to or not.
- Leave your belongings behind.
- Help prevent others from entering the danger zone.
- Call Penn Police at 215-573-3333, or 511 from a campus phone or at any blue light phone as soon as it is safe to do so.
HIDE – If evacuation is not possible, find a place to hide.
- Lock and/or barricade the door.
- Silence your cell phone, including the vibrate feature.
- Hide behind large objects if possible.
- Remain very quiet and do not leave until directed by law enforcement officers.
- Your hiding place should:
- Be out of the shooter’s view.
- Provide protection if shots are fired in your direction.
- Do Not trap or restrict your options for movement
FIGHT – AS A LAST RESORT, and only if your life is in danger:
- Attempt to incapacitate the shooter.
- Act with physical aggression.
- Improvise weapons.
- Commit to your actions.
- Once the shooter is incapacitated, call Penn Police at 215-573-3333, or 511 from a campus phone or at any blue light phone.
POLICE RESPONSE – When law enforcement officers arrive:
- Keep your EMPTY hands raised and visible, with your fingers spread apart.
- Remain calm and follow instructions.
- Avoid pointing or yelling.
- The first police officers to arrive will not respond to or aid those who are injured. They will go directly to the shooter.
- Know that help for the injured is on its way. Rescue team officers and emergency personnel will care for the injured as soon as possible.
- The area is a crime scene. Police officers may secure all witnesses until identified and questioned.
Watch the short video below to learn about key emergency procedures: Evacuate, Shelter-in-Place and Lockdown, and how to respond in an active threat situation.
The following video includes a simulated active shooter situation, and guides viewers on how to best respond in the given scenario. This video was produced by the Houston Mayor’s Office and funded by a Department of Homeland Security grant.
Keep in mind that active shooter incidents can happen anywhere.
Warning: The following video contains realistic depictions of an active shooter incident in an office building which are disturbing.