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Planning for the Worst: Active Shooter Preparedness

Benjamin Franklin once said, “A failure to plan is a plan to fail.” We live by those words at D5 Consulting Group, encouraging all of our clients to prepare for even the worst scenarios. No industry is immune from the threat of an active shooter. D5’s lead trainer, Sam Davis, is a certified Master Instructor in Law Enforcement and has helped prepare schools, law enforcement agencies, healthcare organizations and places of worship, just to name a few. This blog will address some of the most frequently asked questions about active shooter preparedness.

Why is active shooter training so important? Aren’t these events unlikely?

Unfortunately, no. The devastating reality is that active shooter events are five times more likely to happen today than they were in 2000, according to FBI data. They usually happen at places of business. That’s why it’s the responsibility of employers to promote a safe and secure environment and protect their most valuable assets – their people.

Shouldn’t we leave it to law enforcement?

Active shooter incidents happen quickly, typically ending before law enforcement arrives. It can take that long, or longer, for law enforcement to arrive on the scene and eliminate the threat. This means that the actions taken in those first few minutes are critical to preventing loss of life. Empower your employees by training them on what to do before the police arrive, and what to do when they get to the scene.

How do we mentally prepare to act during such a scary situation?

The natural human response to a violent intrusion is denial or disbelief. However, the key is to process, accept and respond to these incidents as rapidly as possible, as every second counts in active shooter situations. The sooner you can accept that the event is actually happening, the sooner you can determine and take the best action to protect your own life, or even the lives of others.

How do we physically prepare?

Every work environment is different, and your employees must know yours inside and out. It’s critical to maintain situational awareness at all times. Depending on the circumstances of the active shooter incident, the three reasonable courses of action are evacuation, hiding, and, if the two former options are not possible, fighting back. Some of the steps we can take in advance include identifying the two nearest exits, items that could be used as a weapon, and pieces of furniture that could be used to barricade a door. Determine hiding places that offer doors that lock from the inside, and space to take shelter out of an active shooter’s view. Active shooter drills are another highly effective method to prepare for these instances.

Trust D5 Consulting Group to assess your organization's readiness, and help prepare your people for the threat of workplace violence. Visit our website for more information about our active shooter trainings.

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