Active shooter/threat incidents have become an unfortunate reality. While the likelihood of an active shooter/threat incident occurring on campus is extremely low, we all should take steps to be prepared for such an incident. Below is generally accepted guidance for how individuals should respond in such an event.
Run, Hide, Fight.
Three Courses of Action
Shootings tend to last approximately 2–4 minutes and may be over before police arrive. In the event of an active shooter/threat situation, your courses of action—adaptable for people of various abilities—are:
- RUN: The second you think you hear a gunshot, RUN. Look for the nearest exit and run, walk or wheel to a safe location as fast as you can. Help others and get out. When you are clear from the building and have found a safe place, call 911 and provide as much detail as possible.
- HIDE: If you can’t run, hide. Lock and/or block the door. Most classrooms and large indoor rooms on Smith’s campus have doors that lock easily from the inside. Slowing down the shooter could save your life. Don’t bunch up together. Turn off the lights and silence your cellphones. Stay calm, quiet, and out of sight. Text 911 if safe to do so and provide as much detail as possible.
- FIGHT: When you have no options left, fight. Fight, fight, fight! Fight dirty—throw things as hard as you can, etc. Tackle the shooter high and low. Gouge the eyes. Make a plan and work together.
When you are safe, help those around you. When police arrive follow their commands and show your hands. Their focus will be on stopping the shooter and they may be unable to help victims.
For further information on the run, hide, fight technique for surviving an active shooter situation, please see a video presented by the Los Angeles Police Department.
PLEASE NOTE: The video contains an enactment of an active shooter that some may find disturbing. However, the video provides guidance and is meant to educate you on how to respond should an active shooter situation occur. While the scripted violence is simulated and mildly graphic, the message is real and will hopefully resonate across the campus.
- Students: If during or after viewing this video you are experiencing any mental health concerns please contact the Schacht Center at 413-585-2250.
- Faculty/Staff: If during or after viewing this video you are experiencing any mental health concerns please reach out to ComPsych at 855-724-2056.