Active shooter situations are unpredictable, evolve quickly, and are often over in 10 to 15 minutes. Individuals should be prepared both mentally and physically to deal with an active shooter situation.


How to respond when an active shooter is in your area:
Quickly determine the most reasonable way to protect your own life. Students are encouraged to follow the lead of instructors during critical incidents prior to the arrival of University Police.


If there is an accessible escape path, attempt to evacuate the premises. Be sure to:

  • Have an escape route plan in mind
  • Evacuate regardless of whether others agree to follow
  • Leave your belongings behind
  • Help others escape if possible
  • Prevent individuals from entering the area where the active shooter may be
  • Keep your hands visible
  • Follow instructions of any Police Officer
  • Do not attempt to move wounded people unless absolutely necessary
  • Call (914) 251-6911 when you are safe


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 or classroom with a closed/locked door)
  • Not trap you or restrict your movement

Prevent an active shooter from entering your hiding place:

  • Lock the door
  • Blockade the door with heavy furniture

If an active shooter is nearby:

  • Lock the door
  • Silence your cell phone and/or pager
  • Turn off any sources of noise (i.e. radio, television)
  • Hide behind large items (i.e. cabinets, desks)
  • Remain quiet

If running and hiding out are not possible:

  • Remain calm
  • Dial (914) 251-6911, if possible, to alert police to the active shooter’s location (if you cannot speak, leave the line open and allow the dispatcher to listen)


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 and committing to your actions


English with Subtitles:

RUN. HIDE. FIGHT.® Surviving an Active Shooter Event

Español Con Subtítulos:

CORRA. ESCONDASE. PELEE. Sobreviviendo un Tiroteo

Video Copyright © 2012 City of Houston.


^ Back to top