Active Threat Preparedness - What To Know

In the unlikely event of an active threat on campus, NYU's active threat preparedness training focuses on the phrases - ESCAPE if you can, HIDE if you can’t, FIGHT if you must - which are modeled after similar instructions created by the City of Houston and endorsed by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the FBI. 

Remember that these steps (ESCAPE if you can, HIDE if you can’t, FIGHT if you must) may not always occur in the same order, so internalizing their instructions can be helpful for quick recall.


Get out and get away as quickly as possible if it is safe to do so.

  • Evacuate regardless of whether others agree to follow.
  • Leave your belongings behind.
  • Help others vacate the area, if possible.
  • Escaping doesn’t have to mean leaving a building. If you can't get out, you can get away, buy time, and create distance between you and the attacker by going to a different floor or room.
  • Remember, if you are able, you can also go upstairs to get away if going down is not an option.
  • Call 911 when you are safe.

HIDE If You Can't

If you cannot escape, find a place to hide where the attacker is less likely to find you.

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

FIGHT If You Must

If all else fails, and only as a last resort, confront the attacker 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.

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


Active Threat Training

To attend 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 choose one of the available dates below and register via the links.  Sessions are virtual and held monthly over Zoom.

If you would like to request a customized active threat training for your school, department or unit, please email

Frequently Asked Questions

Inclusive Active Threat Preparedness Considerations for the NYU Community

In recent years, the term "active threat" 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.