Active Shooter

You should quickly determine the most reasonable way to protect your own life.  Remember that students and visitors are likely to follow the lead of faculty and staff during an active shooter situation.  Each individual must make their decisions to react based on very unique and unpredictable circumstances.  The following are suggestions when considering your plan:

  • RUN (Evacuate) - If there is an accessible escape path, attempt to evacuate the premises.  Be sure to:
    • Have an escape route and plan in mind where ever you are;
    • Evacuate regardless of whether others agree to follow;
    • Leave your belongings behind;
    • Expect an armed police response;
    • Follow the instructions of any police officers and keep your hands visible;
    • If you encounter police, have nothing in your hands!;
    • Help others escape, if possible;
    • Tell others, including police if you can, if you know where the shooter may be located;
    • Do not attempt to move wounded people - once you are in a safe location, tell first responders where you saw them;
    • Call 911 when you are safe.
  • HIDE - If evacuation is not possible, find a place to hide where the active shooter is less likely to find you.  Your hiding place should:
    • Be out of the active shooter's view;
    • Provide protection if shots are fired in your direction (e.g., an office with a closed and locked and/or barricaded door);
    • Not trap you or restrict your options for movement.
    • If the shooter is nearby, you should:
      • Silence your cell phone;
      • Turn off any source of noise (e.g., radio, television);
      • Hide behind large items (e.g., cabinets, desks);
      • Remain quiet.
    • If possible and without jeopardizing your safety:
      • Dial 911 to alert police to the active shooter's location;
      • Leave the line open and allow the 911 dispatcher to listen if you cannot safely speak.
  • FIGHT (Take Action) - As a last resort and only when your life is in imminent danger, attempt to disrupt and/or incapacitate the active shooter by:
    • Acting with force and violence against him/her;
    • Throwing items and improvising weapons;
    • Shouting;
    • Attacking as a group if other are present - never quit until the shooter is disabled, disarmed, or is no longer a threat.

Police Response

Police are trained to respond to an active shooting incident by entering the building as soon as possible and proceeding to the area of the assailant. Early in the incident it may be dangerous to provide medical treatment to victims, because the main goal is to stop the killing. Try to remain calm and listen to police instructions so as not to interfere with police operations. Once the area has been secured, rescue teams will arrive to provide assistance.

Follow all instructions issued by police.  You may be searched, instructed to lie on the floor, told to evacuate, or given other instructions.  It is important that you comply with these instructions quickly and calmly.

Informational and Awareness Resources

For your assistance, UAH has made available two video presentations that discuss armed assailants and what you can do to protect yourself. One video was developed for students, another for employees.

They may be viewed using the following links:

Shots Fired - Student Instructional Video

Shots Fired - Employee Instructional Video

Note: These links are available only on computers connected to the UAH computer network. They are not available for viewing outside the UAH intranet.

Other Active Shooter Preparedness Resources