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Active Shooter

While rare, active shooter situations do occur. Active shooter situations are unpredictable and evolve quickly. Typically, the immediate deployment of law enforcement is required to stop the situation. Because active shooter situations often are over within 10 to 15 minutes, sometimes before law enforcement arrives on the scene, individuals must be prepared mentally and physically to deal with an active shooter situation.

Take a moment now to review a video co-developed by the US Department of Homeland Security and the City of Houston on “Run-Hide-Fight” click here. Please be warned, it is quite chilling and graphic, and it shows you what you can do during such a situation.

So, in the event you hear gunfire remember: Run. Hide. Fight.

Run. Get out and get away, as quietly and quickly as possible.

  • Have an escape route and plan in mind.
  • Evacuate regardless of whether others agree to follow.
  • Leave your belongings behind.
  • Help others escape, if possible.
  • Call 911 when you are safe.

Hide. If you can’t flee, find a place to hide where the active shooter is less likely to find you.

  • Lock or barricade the doors.
  • Turn off lights.
  • Remain quiet.
  • Stay out of the active shooter’s view.
  • Silence your cell phone.
  • Hide behind large items (e.g., file cabinets, desks) that could provide ballistic protection.

Fight. If all else fails, and only as a last resort, attack the shooter with whatever makeshift weapons you can find (scissors, portable fire extinguishers, chairs, etc.) to disarm and disable. It is best, when possible, to work with others.

When law enforcement arrives:

  • Remain calm and follow officer’s instructions.
  • Keep hands visible at all times.
  • Avoid making quick movements toward officers.
  • Do not stop to ask the officers for help or directions when evacuating. Just proceed in the direction from which they entered the premises.
  • For emergency information at other sites around NYU’s global network, contact the site director.

Additional resources:

NYPD active shooter pamphlet: click here

The US Department of Homeland Security: click here

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