By: Steve Uslabar, Strategic Risk Advisor
Most organizations have emergency plans in place to deal with the threat of fire and tornados and today many are establishing action plans in the event a workplace shooting were to happen. Nobody knows what will trigger a violent workplace event, and there is no one reason why this act of violence would occur. What we do know is workplace shootings happen 500 times per year and they impact all areas of risk; reputational, human capital, income, as well as property. It has become extremely important for companies of all sizes to put in place an emergency plan for a live shooter to minimize these risks but the most important reason is to increase the survivability of employees, clients and visitors. Working with local Police Departments, it has become clear to me that there are a few key elements to consider when putting together a plan.
Top 6 Things to Consider When Planning for Survivability
2. Notification and Communication to Others
Have an established alert and notification procedures in place to communicate to others whom are in the building or entering the building.
3. Evacuating the Building
If it is safe to do, the first course of action that should be taken is to RUN. When possible individuals should exit the building through the safest route and proceed as far away from the area under attack.
4. Individuals Who Can’t get Out of the Building
If running is not a safe option, individuals should Hide in as safe a place as possible where there is a solid door (preferably with a deadbolt), thicker walls and few windows.
5. What to do When Law Enforcement Arrives
Individuals should be trained to cooperate and not interfere with the efforts of law enforcement. It is important to remain calm, follow any and all instructions from officers, raise hands with fingers spread and keep hands visible at all times.
6. Training of Employees
To be prepared for an active shooter incident, facilities should train occupants and on-site security staff is what to expect and how to react in the situation, just as they do with fire drills and proactive measures for tornados. While “live” situations are unpredictable, having a plan, communicating and practicing scenarios of that plan can greatly increase the survivability of those in the situation.
Unfortunately, many of these events start with a gun shot. 30 years ago, my mentor told me, “to fail to plan is the same as planning to fail”. Do your organization, your clients, and/or customers a favor and consider putting a plan together. Hopefully, you will never need to use it.