Surviving an Active Shooter Event

Lessons Learned from Run Hide Fight: Surviving an Active Shooter Event

With the unfortunate increase in active shooter events, various law enforcement agencies, including the FBI and Department of Homeland Security, have taken steps to help educate the public on how to increase their chances for survival if faced with an active shooter event.

According to statistics released by the FBI, there were 277 Active Shooter Incidents in the United Stated States from 2000-2018. During that time frame, the total number was 884 people killed and 1,546 wounded. Business locations remain the most frequently attacked (44%), followed by schools (21%). In all, (10%) of the 277 incidents involved shootings at two or more locations.

In a Department of Homeland Security grant-funded project, an informative public service video was made titled, "Run. Hide. Fight: Surviving an Active Shooter Event", that outlines the following:

If you are to ever find yourself in the middle of an active shooter event, your survival may depend on whether or not you have a plan. The plan doesn't have to be complicated.

There are three things you could do that make a difference: Run Hide Fight.

RUN: First and foremost, if you can get out, do.

  • If there is an escape path, attempt to evacuate
  • Evacuate whether others agree to or not
  • Leave your belongings behind
  • Help others escape if possible
  • Prevent others from entering the area
  • Call 9-1-1 when you are safe

HIDE: If you can't get out safely, you need to find a place to hide. Act quickly and quietly. Try to secure your hiding place the best you can.

  • Lock and/or blockade the door
  • Silence your cell phone/pager
  • Hide behind large objects
  • Remain very quiet

Your hiding place should:

  • Be out of the shooter's view
  • Provide protection if shots are fired in your direction
  • Not trap or restrict your options for movement

FIGHT: As a last resort, and only if your life is in danger . . . whether you're alone or working together as a group, fight.

  • Attempt to incapacitate the shooter
  • Act with physical aggression
  • Improvise weapons
  • Commit to your actions

Remember: The first responders on the scene are not there to evacuate or tend to the injured. They are well-trained, and are there to stop the shooter.

What to do when law enforcement arrives:

  • Remain calm and follow instructions
  • Keep your hands visible at all times
  • Avoid pointing or yelling
  • Know that help for the injured is on its way

The following videos provide details on how to increase the chances of surviving an active shooter incident and how to assist authorities once law enforcement enters the scene:

For more information visit: or Active Shooter Booklet