active shooter response infographics with three circles containing the words run hide and fight

Preparing for Active Shooters

Nothing can ever truly prepare you for the horrors of an active shooter situation. However, there are resources, trainings, and tactics that can be used to protect your district.

The purpose of this article is not to give you a step-by-step guide to create an active shooter plan—it would take a book just to scratch the surface.

Our goal is to make you aware of the need to create an active shooter preparedness plan and introduce you to the resources that can be used to create a plan.

To start, it is important to understand what an active shooter situation is so you can begin training your employees, create an emergency action plan, and create a business continuation plan.

This seems like a daunting task; the good news is there are many resources that can be utilized to ensure you and your district are as prepared as you can be for an active shooter situation.

An active shooter is an individual attempting to kill people in a confined or populated area. Active shooter situations are very unpredictable, you never know where or when one is going to occur. During most active shooter cases the assailant uses a firearm and targets their victims at random.

Most active shooter situations are over in 10-15 minutes, while the average police response time to a call is 10 minutes. Therefore, it is vital to have an Active Shooter Emergency Preparedness Plan in place to protect your team members and the public.

Building an Active Shooter Emergency Preparedness Plan may seem like a lot of work for something that will hopefully not even be used. Although, like wearing a seatbelt, if you are in a situation when one is needed, it could save your life!

Luckily, the Department of Homeland Security agrees that having this plan in place is vital, so they have completed most of the work for us. If you go to the website for Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) you will find all the resources needed to build an Active Shooter Emergency Preparedness Plan.

First off, CISA provides a guide to help you understand the threats of an active shooter and develop an emergency plan. They also provide a fillable Active Shooter Emergency Preparedness Plan template.

This covers organizational responsibilities, evacuation instructions, employee training, and much more. CISA even provides a nearly two-hour training video that you can use to train your employees about active shooter preparedness. After you complete your plan you can follow a link of their website to the Business Continuity Planning Suite.

Most of the Colorado special districts provide infrastructure that is vital for a community to function properly, that is why it is paramount for you to be prepared for an emergency or crisis. This is where the Business Continuity Planning Suite comes in—yet another tool provided at no-cost by the Department of Homeland Security.

This resource assists by helping you create a business plan and prepare for an emergency event that would disrupt normal operations, i.e. active shooter, cyber-attack, or severe weather event. If properly executed a business continuity plan would allow a business to minimize disruption of service and maintain normal business operations during an emergency scenario.

The Suite provides videos that will train you in Business Continuity Planning, then provides you the resources needed to create or improve a plan for your organization. It is terrifying to imagine the possibility of an active shooter scenario, but luckily the resources covered in this article will hopefully give you and your team piece of mind.

Beyond preparing for an active shooter, if you would like to discuss business income and continuity, our team is available for consultations to weather an emergency. For more information, email us at

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