Recently, I was invited to an 'Active Shooter' training with Iron Fish Distillery led by Deputy Michael Makowski of Grand Traverse County Sheriff's Office. You may be wondering, 'why would we be doing active shooter training in Northern Michigan?'. Active shooter risk is a very unfortunate reality in America which has led many businesses to prepare their teams for crisis management and response. This is great way to introduce this growing risk to businesses, how they can prepare for it and protection for the response to an active shooter event.
U.S. Homeland Security defines an active shooter as "an individual actively engaged in killing or attempting to kill people in a confined and populated area; in most cases, active shooters use firearm(s) and there is no pattern or method to their selection of victims." Because active shooter situations are often over within 10 to 15 minutes—before law enforcement arrives on the scene—individuals must be prepared both mentally and physically to respond to an active shooter situation.
Even if the company is able to resume its operations after an active shooter incident, recovery can take an extensive amount of time. To recover from a shooting, organizations should make continuity planning, personnel issues and communication strategies top priorities. In this guide, we’ll share recommendations from experts about what organizations can do to prepare for and recover from an active shooter incident.
Active shooter incidents are often unpredictable and evolve quickly. Anyone can play an integral role in the midst of the chaos to mitigate the impacts and limit the loss of life. To best prepare your staff for an active shooter situation, you can begin by creating an Emergency Action Plan (EAP) and conduct training exercises with your team.
Components of an Emergency Action Plan (EAP)
When creating an EAP, it is important to do so with input from several key stakeholders. These individuals should include (but not limited to) owners, managers, your HR department, and local emergency responders. An effective EAP includes the following:
Components of Training Exercises
The most effective way to train your staff to respond to an active shooter situation is to conduct mock active shooter training exercises. Local law enforcement is an excellent resource in designing training exercises. Training components may include the following:
The key stakeholders you've chosen to spearhead the EAP and training should be engaged in all planning for emergency situations, including workplace violence or an active shooter. This planning for emergency situations will help to mitigate the likelihood of an incident by establishing the mechanisms described below:
Human Resources' Responsibilities
The following are responsibilities of HR professionals:
Facility Manager Responsibilities
The following are responsibilities of facility mangers:
How to Respond When an Active Shooter is in Your Vicinity
Quickly determine the most reasonable way to protect your own life. Remember that customers and clients are likely to follow the lead of employees and managers during an active shooter situation.
If there is an accessible escape path, attempt to evacuate the premises:
2. Hide Out
If evacuation is not possible, find a place to hide where the active shooter is less likely to find you. Your hiding place should have the following characteristics:
You should also take some basic steps to prevent a shooter from noticing your presence or entering your hiding place:
3. Take action against the active shooter
As a last resort, and only when your life is in imminent danger, attempt to disrupt and/or incapacitate the active shooter by doing the following:
How to Respond When Law Enforcement Arrives
Law enforcement’s purpose is to stop the active shooter as soon as possible. Officers will proceed directly to the area in which the last shots were heard:
When law enforcement arrives, do the following:
Provide the following information to law enforcement or the 911 operator:
The first officers to arrive to the scene will not stop to help injured persons. Instead, expect rescue teams comprised of additional officers and emergency medical personnel to follow the initial officers. These rescue teams will treat and remove any injured persons. They may also call upon able-bodied individuals to assist in removing the wounded from the premises.
Once you have reached a safe location or an assembly point, you will likely be held in that area by law enforcement until the situation is under control and all witnesses have been identified and questioned. Do not leave until law enforcement authorities have instructed you to do so.
There is no easy way to put it, this is heavy stuff! However, you and your business can begin today by creating a plan and keeping some of these tips top of mind in the event of an active shooter or workplace violence situation. Gather up your key stakeholders and reach out to your local law enforcement to get started. Deputy Makowski along with other law enforcement are here to protect our communities. They encourage businesses and organizations to be proactive and prepared for all emergencies. For more articles and posters to safeguard your business, your employees and your customers, contact your partners at Top O' Michigan Insurance Solutions.
This Blog/Web Site does not provide insurance or legal advice. This site is for educational purposes only as well as to provide you with general information and a general understanding of insurance, not to provide specific legal advice or specific contract advice. Viewing this site, receipt of information contained on this site, or the transmission of information from or to this site does not constitute a client relationship.
The information on this Blog/Web Site is not intended to be a substitute for professional insurance or legal advice. Always seek the advice of a licensed agent in your state pertaining to insurance and legal issues.
Provided by Top O' Michigan Insurance
This Risk Insights is not intended to be exhaustive nor should any discussion or opinions be construed as legal advice. Readers should contact legal counsel or an insurance professional for appropriate advice. © 2015 Zywave, Inc. All rights reserved.
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