Active Shooter on Campus

According to the United States Department of Homeland Security, if you are in a situation where there is an active shooter in your area, it is best to follow three basic steps.


If there is an accessible escape path, attempt to evacuate the premises. Be sure to:

  • Have an escape route and plan in mind.  Know where the exits are located.
  • Evacuate regardless of whether others agree to follow
  • Do not attempt to engage the individual
  • Leave your belongings behind
  • Help others escape, if possible
  • Prevent individuals from entering an area where the active shooter may be
  • Keep your hands visible
  • Follow the instructions of any public safety officers
  • Do not attempt to move wounded people
  • Call 911 when you are safe. While their average response time is 2 minutes, it may take longer for Public Safety to reach your location depending on the situation

If evacuation is not possible, find a place to hide where the active shooter is less likely to find you. Your hiding place should:

  • Be out of the active shooter's view
  • Provide protection if shots are fired in your direction (i.e., an office with a closed and locked door)
  • Not trap you or restrict your options for movement

To prevent an active shooter from entering your hiding place:

  • Lock the door
  • Blockade the door with heavy furniture

If the active shooter is nearby:

  • Lock the door
  • Silence your cell phone and/or pager
  • Turn off any source of noise (i.e., radios, televisions)Hide behind large items (i.e., cabinets, desks)
  • Remain quiet

If evacuation and hiding out are not possible:

  • Remain calm
  • Dial 911, if possible, to alert police to the active shooter’s location
  • If you cannot speak, leave the line open and allow the dispatcher to listen

As a last resort, and only when your life is in imminent danger, attempt to disrupt and/or incapacitate the active shooter:

  • Act as aggressively as possible against him/her
  • Throw items and improvising weapons
  • Yell
  • Commit to your actions