Surviving An Active Shooter (video).  Your thoughts?

What do you think of this video, funded by the US Department of Homeland Security?

In the wake of a tragic series of mass shootings in the United States, with events in Europe and South Africa also on recent and past record, we can understand the need for this kind of information to be widely circulated.  But there are lots of questions to be asked around the acceptance of such an information tool, and we’d like your input.

Before we get to that, have a look at the video for yourself here or, for those of you without the ability to play video at work, see below for some key points:

Some of the advice contained within:

At the outset of an incident:

  • Run if a safe path is available. Always try and escape or evacuate even if others insist on staying.
  • Encourage others to leave with you but don’t let the indecision of others slow down your own effort to escape.
  • Once you are out of the line of fire, try to prevent others from walking into the danger zone and call 9-1-1.
  • If you can’t get out safely, find a place to hide.
  • When hiding, turn out lights, remember to lock doors and silence your ringer and vibration mode on your cell phone
  • As a last resort, working together or alone, act with aggression, use improvised weapons and fight.
It then offers advice on how to hide until the event reaches a conclusion.
And then, only as a last resort:
  • Attempt to incapacitate the shooter
  • Act with physical agression
  • Improvise weapons
  • Commit to your actions

However, for the past couple of weeks there’s a friendly-but-heated debate going on in Continuity Towers about the acceptance of mass shootings as an ongoing threat.  Our “conversations” include a lot of questions, including:

  • Does this mean we have to accept that this type of activity is a new norm?
  • How did we get to this?
  • Is there anything we can do to stop this type of activity before it starts?
  • Is it a ‘phase’?
  • Is this really only an issue in the US, or does a recent European event mean that it’s not really that limited to countries that allow regular citizens to own guns?
  • Will the advice really assist, or is it a sensible attempt to control possible panic and/or appear to be doing something constructive?
  • Who within the organisation should we look to for advice on this?  Security?  HR?  Training? Business Continuity?
  • How do we decide where to rank this kind of threat in our profile?  On the one hand it’s extremely unlikely to happen to us or anyone we know.  On the other hand will our staff/customers/public think badly of us if we don’t think about it?
  • Are our current continuity plans not flexible enough to suggest a plan of action should this occur?

And so on.

We’re just not sure who’s winning any of the arguments so we’d love your opinions.  Please help us out by commenting below!

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