RISK INSIGHT: Active Shooter Survival Tips – Part 5

Property & Casualty, Risk

Facing an Armed Intruder or Active Shooter – Part 5

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 to help you increase your chances of survival when the unthinkable happens.


If you hear gunshots (or what you perceive to be gunshots) and can’t get out of the building, it’s time to lockdown and barricade.

  • Immediately lock and barricade the door. Use large, heavy, moveable objects to barricade the door. Tables, desks, filing cabinets, chairs and other objects can be used to block entry in to the room. These objects should also be used to block the door window so the shooter cannot easily see in to the room.
  • Turn off the lights and silence all cell phones. The noise or the illumination emitted from a cell phone may tip off the shooter of your location.
  • Always spread out throughout the room. Don’t huddle together and create easy targets for the shooter.
  • Keep calm and quiet in the room. Make it appear that ‘no one is home.’
  • Once your lockdown and barricading is complete, look for a secondary exit to get out of your location if necessary. Break a window and evacuate if you are able.FatalFunnel
  • Never stand in the ‘fatal funnel.’ Past history indicates shooters do not spend a great deal of time trying to breach a
    door unless they have a specific target in mind. Shooters typically understand they are ‘on the clock’ and law enforcement will be responding soon. If unsuccessful in their efforts to enter a room within 4-6 seconds, they’ll likely fire few rounds through the door – hoping to strike someone inside – before moving on to ‘easier targets of opportunity.’ Instruct everyone to never stand in front of the door and to avoid the ‘fatal funnel.’

Simply hiding under a table or desk will not protect you.  When no other alternative is available – you can’t create distance, lockdown barricade, or get out of a secondary exit – find an object to throw at the shooter and create an exit or attack plan in case the shooter finds you.

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

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