Following the horrific Active Shooter attack in Christchurch, New Zealand (my home-town) last week. I have been gathering resources and advice regarding the best course of action to prepare for and respond to an Active Shooter incident (see post on LinkedIn).
Step 1: Prevent
- The best way to protect employees and visitors is to prevent an incident from occurring in the first place.
- Prepare a Business Continuity Plan that includes evacuation procedures. You can check out BCP Builder’s Business Continuity Planning Templates if you need help getting started.
- Assess your facility and people to minimize the risk of violence.
- Behavioral risk threat assessments: staff should always be on the lookout for suspicious behavior and the threat of violence.
- Keep external doors closed and wear your ID card.
- Report any suspicious behavior.
Step 2: Prepare
- Provide emergency training for your team and discuss your evacuation plan.
Step 3: Respond
- Your main options during a violent incident include the following:
- Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, Evacuate (ALICE).
|STEPS TO ALICE||DEFINITION||EXAMPLE|
|ALERT||This can be anything.||Gunfire, PA announcement, Witness, Phone or Text Alert.|
|LOCKDOWN||This is a semi-secure starting point from which to make survival decisions. If you decide not to evacuate, secure the room!||Lock the door, Cover any windows in the door (if possible); Tie down the door, if possible, using belts, purse straps, cords, etc.; Barricade the door with anything available (desk, chairs, etc.); Look for alternative escape routes (windows, other doors); Call Emergency Services.|
|INFORM||Using any means necessary to pass on real time information.||Speak in plain language (NO code words); Can be derived from emergency call, video surveillance, etc.; Tell Who, What, Where, When and How information; Can be used by people in the area or who may come into the area to make common sense decisions; Can be given by “Skyward Alert”, PA Announcements or Police Radio speakers.|
|COUNTER||This is the use of simple, proactive techniques that can distract the intruder and allow you to evacuate or restrain them.||Anything can be used as a distraction; Throw things at the intruders head to disrupt aim and focus; Create as much noise as possible; Counter in a group (swarm); Grab the intruders limbs, head, and take them to the ground and hold them there; If you have control of the shooter call emergency services and tell the police, where you are and listen to their commands when officers arrive.|
|EVACUATE||Remove yourself from the danger zone as quickly as possible and go the rally point.||Decide if you can evacuate safely; Run in a zig-zag pattern as fast as you can; Do not stop running until you are far away from the area; Bring something to throw with you in case you encounter the intruder; Hang from a window and drop to the ground to minimize fall distance; Attempt to drop into shrubs, mulch or grass to lessen the chance of injury; Do not attempt to drive from the area!|
Step 4: Recover
- Your actions after the event could reduce the lasting psychological affects and safeguard the continuity of your operation.
- The minutes immediately following an incident are critical to the recovery process.
- After ensuring the safety of your staff and guests, turn your attention to crisis communication.
- Hold comprehensive Debrief sessions to establish lessons learned and incorporate these learnings into planning
I have included the following resources below:
- A short video on “Run, Hide, Tell”
- A longer video on “Run, Hide, Fight”
- A longer document prepared by the UK Government on Counter Terrorism Advice for places of Worship.