NYU Active Threat Preparedness Video
Produced by New York University's Department of Campus Safety, the NYU Active Threat Preparedness Video provides instruction on ways to prepare for, and react to, an active threat on campus. More information on training sessions, frequently asked questions, considerations, and external resources is available below. For links to download the Safe NYU app and to review disability and mental health resources, please visit the Frequently Asked Questions portion of this page. If you have additional questions after reviewing the material below, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please note the Active Threat Preparedness video was created prior to the department's transition to the Department of Campus Safety. All references to the Department of Public Safety are equivalent to the Department of Campus Safety.
To request an Active Threat training session, which includes a showing of the NYU Active Threat Preparedness Video and a Question and Answer session led by Campus Safety team members, please fill out our Active Threat Training request form.
How long does an active threat training session take?
Typically active threat training sessions run for about an hour, however, we can adjust to fit your specific needs.
I have a disability and am concerned about my particular situation. Is there someone I can talk to?
Yes. Please call Campus Safety's Emergency Management team to set up an appointment to discuss your specific situation at 212-992-5648.
This material is very upsetting to me. What additional resources does NYU offer?
Are there other types of training offered by Campus Safety?
Yes. Campus Safety's Training Unit offers instruction on a variety of safety-related topics, including Safety in the City presentations, community tabling events, and more. If you'd like to learn more, please email email@example.com.
In recent years, the term "active shooter" has unfortunately become part of our collective vocabulary. And while active threat incidents remain highly unlikely occurrences, it is important to be aware of best practices and procedures in the case of such a threat on campus.
Below we have assembled various guidelines making difficult decisions before, during, and after an active threat should one occur here at NYU.
● Assess the situation: Active threat situations vary greatly and there are many different factors which may impact the decisions you choose to take. For example, is there a single threat or are there multiple threats? Is the threat location near you?
● Act fast but be flexible: Active threat events may evolve quickly. Early reports are often inaccurate. Initial NYU Alert messages will convey limited information-- for example “Active shooter in building X – run, hide fight.”
● Plan ahead: It is difficult to predict how each of us will react when posed with an active threat scenario and preparing yourself with best practices ahead of time can help improve your reaction. Be aware that others may look to you for guidance, especially if you are a faculty member or a visible leader.
● If you see something: Experience has shown that many instances can be prevented through the vigilance of community members. If you notice any strange or concerning behavior, report it to Campus Safety directly.
Before an Active Threat
Utilize Available NYU Safety Materials and Apps
Download the SafeNYU App.
- Safe NYU is New York University’s free mobile campus safety app
- The app provides safety and security services, including:
- 911-calling capability for life-threatening situations
- Push Notifications
- Mobile Blue Light: simultaneously send your location and call NYU Campus Safety
- Reporting of incidents or tips via in-app forms, real-time chats or voice calls
Consider Your Own Surroundings
Make note of any places of shelter in your immediate area should you need to hide.
- Areas to consider would be rooms you can access that can be locked/barricaded/secured in some way such as offices or conference rooms.
- Think about different methods to lock or barricade a door, such as a door stopper, a belt wrapped around the hinge of the door, or even durable medical equipment (e.g. canes, walker, wheelchair).
Identify the nearest safety exits and consider what route options you can use to exit the building from your area.
Consider any items that could be used as makeshift weapons (scissors, portable fire extinguishers, etc.) if you would need to fight.
During an Active Threat
While the probability of an active threat situation occurring on campus is low, it is important to be aware of the steps you can take to stay safe. There are many factors which can alter a situation and there is no one correct recommendation of action. It is important to use your best judgement in the situation given the information that is available to you. There are three main options to consider: Run, Hide or Fight. Each option is essential depending on your situation. Remember that Run, Hide or Fight is a mantra, it is not necessarily a linear process.
There could be several factors to consider when deciding to run and you will need to weigh the likelihood of running away from an attacker versus hiding or fighting (always a last resort). Consider the following:
- Is the attacker inside or outside of the building?
- Can you see or hear the attacker(s)?
- Do you know a close exit route that you believe you can reasonably access?
- Do you have a safe place to hide?
- Are you on a higher or lower floor with accessible exits?
If you determine running is the best option, have an escape route in mind and think ahead of next steps.
Assist others if it is safe to do so.
Do not worry about bringing your belongings with you. Just evacuate.
Evacuate regardless of whether others agree to follow you.
If you are unable to run out of the building, it may still make sense to get away from the direct area, buying time and creating distance between you and the shooter(s).
Call 911 once you have reached safety.
Proceed to a room that can be locked, barricaded, or secured in some way; close and lock all the windows and doors; and turn off all the lights.
If using the “buddy system” assist one another as possible.
If the door has a view window, see if you can easily cover it.
Utilize whatever objects are available to blockade the door, including file cabinets, door stoppers, durable medical equipment, etc.
Hide under a desk, in a closet, or in the corner; if possible, get everyone down on the floor and ensure that no one is visible from outside the room.
If possible, do not hide in large groups (this makes it easier for an attacker).
Silence your cell phone and remain silent yourself.
If you can do so safely, text NYU Campus Safety through the SafeNYU App to provide them with updates or information regarding your location.
Remain in place until you receive the “all clear” via NYU Alert and/or Safe NYU.
If all else fails, and only as a last resort, attack the shooter(s) with whatever makeshift weapons you can find (scissors, portable fire extinguishers, etc.) to disarm and disable. It is best, when possible, to work with others.
If you disarm the attacker(s), avoid picking up the weapon to reduce any chance of being mistaken as the attacker when the police arrive.
After an Active Threat
Lockdowns may last for several hours. It is critical to wait for an official “all clear,” which will come from the police. The authorities need to thoroughly inspect the area to ensure it is safe and the threat is over. When law enforcement arrives:
- Remain calm and follow police 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.
- If you are unable to answer or respond to police instructions because of a disability or access and functional needs, make officers aware without making sudden movements.
Individuals with Disabilities or Access and Functional Needs
Individuals with disabilities or access and functional needs should plan and prepare in advance by considering what type of assistance may be needed to stay safe and secure during active events. If needed, you should try identifying people who could provide assistance in an active shooter situation. However, you should always plan to be able to respond as independently as possible as active events are dynamic in nature. Develop options and consider contacting Campus Safety for help thinking through specific situations.
- People who have severe anxiety or PTSD should consider seeking assistance from a mental health provider to talk through strategies for thinking about active threat response.
- People with mobility impairments will want to consider differences in response strategies. An active threat scenario is different from a fire. Instead of going to a stairwell to await rescue, the best course of action for a person with limited mobility may be to shelter in place. Again, think through what will work best for you.
- People who are deaf or hard of hearing should pay special attention to visual cues that signal a shooter situation. Maintain situational awareness. Remember to mute your phone if you are hiding.
- People who are blind or visually-impaired should remember to turn off the lights in their space.
- If you want someone nearby to assist you, let them know specifically want you are asking them to do for you. People may want to help but not know how.
- If you require medication or glucose, you should have supplies with you at all times as shelter-in-place orders may continue for indeterminate amounts of time while law enforcement clears the area.
- If you are in a hiding place and require medical assistance, call 911 and communicate your specific needs and your exact location to authorities.
- If there are announcements after a shelter in place and you are having difficulty processing the information, ask someone near you for clarification.
Please note: People who do not have a disability, but wish to help those who do, should always ask before touching or grabbing them or their medical equipment/devices.
As a reminder, active threat situations will vary, so understanding key safety considerations is critical. Be sure to refer to the above guidelines on a periodic basis so that you can be as prepared as possible.