RISK INSIGHT: Active Shooter Survival Tips – Part 2

Property & Casualty, Risk

Facing an Armed Intruder or Active Shooter – Part 2

Is everyone in your organization prepared to deal with an armed intruder or an active shooter?  This M3 blog series can help.  Each post will share lifesaving tips that help increase your chances of survival when the unthinkable happens.


Practice ‘rapid response’ lockdown.  Identify the process and actions that you will take to lockdown and/or barricade your occupied space.

  • Make your barricade response ‘gross motor skill based.’ Remove any body actions that are ‘fine motor skill based’ – for example, placing keys in the door keyhole and turning, any precise movements or tasks with your fingers such as tying rope or computer cable to the door knob.  These actions will be slow and at times impossible to perform.  Simplify by using pre-tied items, carabiners, or pre-lock doors so all you have to do is shut the door.
  • Identify objects that will be used to barricade your location.  This means pre-plan your lockdown and barricade actions and identify the exact objects that will be utilized.
  • Plan the barricade objects in order – even number the order in which they are to be used when barricading.  Always use objects of substantial size and weight when barricading.  Don’t just pile chairs in front of the door, they will not stop an intruder and will limit or obstruct your ability to respond and get out of the room if the door is breached.  If barricaded properly, a door breach should be a rare occurrence.FatalFunnel
  • Once barricaded or in lockdown, avoid standing directly in front of the door in case the shooter fires through the door. This area is known as the ‘fatal funnel.’
  • Make it appear as if no one is in the room. Turn off lights, silence all cell phones, keep quiet, and don’t cast shadows under the door.
  • Identify a secondary exit (door, window, breach a wall) that you can get out if needed.
  • Assume the ‘Defend Your Room’ position if you cannot get out. Position yourself against the wall, 2-3 feet from the knob side of the door.  Have a ‘pre-planned, improvised weapon’ and be ready to use it.  It’s time for ‘action vs. reaction’ – you attack first – action always beats reaction.

Source: M3 Senior Risk Manager, Ted Hayes and Captain Mike Bolender of the Peaceful Warrior Training Group have partnered on M3’s “Prepared, Not Scared” seminar series. Content from those sessions is shared in this blog series.

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