Secure In Place - Recommendations About - Hostile Intruder / Active Violence / Active Shooter

Options For Consideration from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security:

Armed Intruder | Actual or Potential Violence:

In a dangerous, or potentially dangerous, situation, you must quickly determine the most reasonable way to protect your own life. You should seek a safe environment, without endangering others, through evacuation or sheltering.

The concept of seeking shelter is to provide protection from an outside atmosphere or condition that may be immediately dangerous to life, health, or safety.

Shelter In Place  |  From an Armed Intruder  |  Secure In Place

Protective Action Recommendations:

  • If a person enters your building with a weapon, immediately evacuate the building.
  • If a person is seen outdoors with a weapon, seek shelter in the nearest unsecured building or leave the area.
  • Warn other people in the area, provide assistance as you are able, and try to remain calm.
  • Protect yourself. Hide out, by seeking shelter, and taking cover, in a secure place within a building.
  • Generally speaking, and outside of the Pre-K or K-12 environment, unless you can do so quickly and easily, without exposing yourself to the danger, do not worry about locking the perimeter doors of your building. Consider that other innocents might try to seek refuge inside of your building as well. You should look for small, interior, securable, spaces to hide out in.
  • If you are away from the area involved, stay away.
  • Call 911, when it is safe to do so, if you need help or if you have information relevant to the incident.

Good practices for coping with a potentially dangerous intruder:

  • Be aware of your environment and any possible dangers.
  • Take note of the two nearest exits in any facility you visit.
  • If you are in an office, stay there, and secure the door.
  • If you are in a hallway, get into a room, and secure the door.
  • If you cannot get into an office or a room, you should try to escape or improvise another hiding place.

Hostile Intruder | Hostage Situation:

Calm – Stay as calm as you can. When hostages panic, hostage takers panic, and the situation can escalate beyond the intruders original intentions. Be alert but maintain a low profile. You can appear calm by following directions and avoiding sensitive topics in any conversation with the hostage taker. Maintain eye contact with the captor when speaking with them but do not stare. Be as polite and friendly as possible.

Avoid drastic action if you are not in immediate danger of death or serious physical injury. Be observant. You may be released or you may escape. The personal safety of others may depend on your memory.

Connect – By empathizing or appearing to empathize with your captor, you may become a person to them rather than a bargaining chip. In some cases, by creating a bond, hostages have been able to make their captors unwilling to harm them. By connecting and personalizing the interactions, you buy yourself time by slowing things down. Encourage the negotiation process and keep the focus on outside contact.

Capitalize – While encouraging a negotiated release or some other peaceful conclusion, remain alert to rescue efforts and escape opportunities. Drink water and eat if food is available. Rest when you can. It is important to keep your strength up and remain as healthy as possible. If medications, first aid, or restroom privileges are needed by anyone, say so.

If things change and the intruder becomes an active killer: As a victim you have two basic options

  • Get Out – Escape any way possible: through doors, windows, or stairs, and run at angles away from the threat, placing cover or obstacles between you and the danger until you are safe.
  • Take Out – Disarm and disable the intruder as quickly as possible with as much force as needed.

When Police Arrive:

Do not pose a threat. Show and empty your hands. Get down on the ground. Follow the orders of the police.

Active Violence | Active Shooter:

Protect yourself and warn others (create and manage distance and shielding from threats).

Plan for your survival – Reasonable options can include:

R.S.V.P. = Run – Shelter & Shield – Vigorously Fight – Play

Run - Run from the threat if you think you can do so safely. Run at angles from the shooter and put cover or obstacles between you and the danger.

Shelter & Shield - Shelter or Shield yourself from the threat if you think that running might place you in more danger. Lock yourself in a defensible space and call for help.

Vigorously Fight - Fight an attacker if you think that greater harm will come to you if you do not fight. If You Fight – You Must Be: Valiant – Vicious – Victorious. If You Fight – Verbalize: Stop! - Drop the Weapon! - Down on the Ground!

Play - Play incapacitated or play whatever you think, if you think it might help your chances of survival.

Call 911 for Help – Report to Police as soon as you are out of immediate danger.

  • Give Your Name – Telephone Number – Location. Describe the Nature of the Incident and its Location.
  • Describe Any Injuries – Weapons – Hazards – Devices.
  • Describe the People Involved – Where They Are – Where They Went.
  • Stay on the line with the Dispatcher until help arrives.
  • Keep the Dispatcher updated on any changes so responding units can be updated.
  • Even if you cannot communicate, keep the line open.
  • The Dispatcher may be able to learn more about what is happening.

Evacuate or Shelter in Place  |  Secure in Place  |  Take Shelter in a Secure Place

  • Escape if you can and avoid the danger. 
  • Move out of public areas into an office or classroom, if you cannot escape. 
  • Assemble/Account for those whom you are responsible.
  • Close and lock the doors and windows, if possible.
  • Barricade the door if it will not lock. 
  • Obstruct sight lines into the secured area.
  • Turn Lights and A/V off, get down, and take cover away from doors and windows. 
  • Avoid fields of fire, be quiet, pretend no one is home, and do not answer or open the door.
  • Wait for police to help you out of the building.

What To Do When Police Arrive:

Police priority is to stop the threat.

  • Follow the orders of the Police.
  • Do not pose a threat.
  • Show and empty your hands.
  • Get down on the ground. 


Active Shooter Videos:


Review of the following presentation is no substitute for participating in a live training session or exercise. For more information, or to schedule a training session or exercise, please contact EKU Emergency Management at 859-622-8987, 859-622-1111, or email

(Note: The pdf version of the Active Violence – Active Shooter - Guidelines Presentation listed below does not contain all of the information available in the full power point version. The full power point version is available for review during live, interactive, training sesssions and exercises. The instructional video links found within the pdf version below should be active and instructional.)

Targeted Violence Infographic Red 12132017.pdf758.64 KB
Targeted Violence Infographic Blue 12132017.pdf727.81 KB
Active Violence - Active Shooter - Guidelines 11122014.pdf1.56 MB
Active Shooter Training Presentation 05022018.pdf2.4 MB
Active Shooter Booklet.pdf910.51 KB
Active Shooter Poster.pdf508.03 KB
Active Shooter Pocket Card.pdf167.4 KB
EMI IS 907 Active Shooter What You Can Do Course Summary.pdf132.93 KB
Armed Intruder Recommendations 10102016.pdf197.08 KB