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Posted on 12/26/2018 by FFL Dealer Network

Preparing for the Worst--Active Shooter in the Workplace

Preparing for the Worst--Active Shooter in the Workplace

As mass shootings become an ever-present threat, knowing what to do in the event of an active shooter needs to be common knowledge. A polished education in this area, filled with foresight and planning, can mean the difference between life and death. So, arm yourself with the acknowledgment that today's world is less predictable than in the past, and active shooters are a threat for which you must prepare.

Even though it may seem far-fetched to think your co-worker could be capable of such destruction, unfortunately, it has happened time and time again. You can't always predict when someone is going to resort to violence, but you can prepare.

Run, Hide, or Fight

When faced with an active shooter in the workplace, you have three options: run, hide, or fight. Of course, which choice you make depends on your comfort as well as the current situation.


Running away from an active shooter and an active scene is the most recommended approach to staying safe in this dire situation. Run as far and as fast as you can away from the sound of bullets, screaming, or people.

You should always be aware of all the exit doors and routes from your work area. Fleeing (like hiding) is usually something you can plan in advance.


The choice to hide is practical, likely safe, and can be planned in advance. Every person should have a minimum of one hiding place in their work area to hide from an active shooter, if needed.

Take the time to walk through your workspace and mentally assess possible hiding areas that can offer you camouflage (so the shooter can't see you) or a barrier (to protect you from being shot). In a closet, under a desk, in a large drawer, behind a couch, under a table, behind a door, or behind a filing cabinet can be hiding places.

However, the most critical aspect of a hiding place is its secrecy. Never tell anyone your planned hiding places, as you never know who an active shooter may be.


Fighting an active shooter can be an option but should be exercised with extreme caution. If you have special training (for example, you are a police officer, military or a properly trained civilian with a concealed carry license) and feel confident in fighting, your efforts could save the lives of many.

Alternatively, you may have no training whatsoever but an opportunity arises in which you see that you could take action against an active shooter. In this case, fight if you feel confident. But never assume you are obligated to fight an active shooter.

There is no right or wrong choice when it comes to responding to an active shooter in the workplace. Everyone reacts differently in situations of extreme stress and you will not be judged for your decision. Your goal is to stay alive any way possible, and usually, that is achieved by planning in advance.

Plan possible hiding places, plan weapons of opportunity, plan exit routes, and plan how to call for backup. If there is an active shooter in your workplace, chances are that they have planned, so don't allow yourself to be caught off guard.

Remember, an active shooter in the workplace is an emergency situation. Just like preparing for a plane crash, you must consider your own life and safety before you can consider others.

 Within your lifetime, you may encounter an active shooter. With forethought and careful planning, your chances of surviving such an attack are greatly increased.

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