Active Shooter

You should quickly determine the most reasonable way to protect your own life.  Remember that students are visitors are likely to follow the lead of faculty and staff during an active shooter situation.  How best to respond:

  • 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;
    • Evacuate regardless of whether others agree to follow;
    • Leave your belongings behind;
    • Help others escape, if possible;
    • Prevent others from entering an area where the shooter may be located;
    • Follow the instructions of any police officers and keep your hands visible;
    • Do not attempt to move wounded people;
    • 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 as aggressively as possible against him/her;
    • Throwing items and improvising weapons;
    • Yelling.

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 impossible to deliver medical treatment to victims, because the main goal is neutralizing the assailant. Try to remain as calm as possible 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 asked to submit to search, 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 faculty staff.

They may be viewed using the following links:

Shots Fired - Student Instructional Video

Shots Fired - Faculty and Staff 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