Active Shooter Preparedness

Our nation has experienced a variety of random, tragic episodes of armed violence against unarmed citizens in a wide array of circumstances.

In response to these random occurrences, all U.S. institutions and businesses are assessing risks in order to develop flexible planning objectives for evolving security needs.

The Mercer University Emergency Management Team (EMT) recommends that you develop a personal action plan to supplement university guidelines regarding armed violence in the university workplace and special events.

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) created a video for public circulation to provide guidance in preparing for, and responding to a random episode of armed violence that you may encounter in a workplace or public venue.

The DHS video identifies three distinct options: Run, Hide, or Fight.


  • Have an escape route and plan in mind
  • Leave your belongings behind
  • Evacuate regardless of whether others agree to follow
  • Help others escape, if possible
  • Do not attempt to move the wounded
  • Prevent others from entering an area where the active shooter may be
  • Keep your hands visible
  • Call 911 when you’re safe


  • Hide in an area out of the shooter’s view
  • Lock door or block entry to your hiding place
  • Silence your cell phone (including vibrate mode) and remain quiet


  • Fight as a last resort and only when your life is in imminent danger
  • Attempt to incapacitate the shooter
  • Act with as much physical aggression as possible
  • Improvise weapons or throw items at the active shooter
  • Commit to your actions…your life depends on it

For more information, visit the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s website regarding¬†Active Shooter Incidents.