Emergency Preparedness

Active Threat Guidelines

Encountering an active threat on campus remains remote, however we encourage members of the campus community to review the following guidelines in the event of an emergency.

An active threat is any incident where there is an immediate threat or imminent danger to the campus community, this includes a shooter or a hostage situation.

Taking time to review these guidelines now will increase your ability to respond should an emergency arise. What to do if:


  1. Stay calm and determine the location of the threat. 
  2. Call 44-911 as soon as possible, although escaping is your priority.
  3. If a safe exit exists, take it as quickly as possible.
  4. Continue running until you are well cleared from the location of the threat. Find a safe location and call 911 to tell the police of your location. 
If the only exit is through a window, consider the consequences of the fall:
  • How high are you from the ground?
  • Can you land in shrubs or grass to decrease the potential for serious injury? 
  • Can you make an improvised rope out of clothing, belts or other items?
  1. Stay calm and determine the location of the threat. 
  2. Take shelter in the nearest office, classroom, closet or other area that can be secured. Barricade the door using desks, bookshelves or other heavy objects. If the door opens outward, attach one end of a belt to the door handle and the other end to a heavy object.
  3. If the door has a window, cover it. 
  4. Look for other possible escape routes, such as windows and other doors. 
  5. Call 911 and tell them what is happening. Speak quietly and then set your cell phone to vibrate or silent. 
  6. Stay low to the ground and remain as quiet as possible. 
  7. Once in a secure location, do not open the door for anyone. Do not approach police officers as they attempt to locate and neutralize the threat. The police officers will return to assist you once the threat has been neutralized. 
  8. When University Police arrive, obey all commands. You may be asked to keep your hands in the air; you may even be handcuffed until the police assess the situation. These steps are taken for safety reasons.
If you are in a crowded room and the threat is shooting, “play dead” or quietly crawl to safety. 
If you are with a group, as an action of last resort, you might choose to take the offense:
  1. If the shooter is entering the room, position yourself in location that allows for an element of surprise.
  2. Throw anything available at the threat. Aim for the face to distract him/her.
  3. Attack as a group, swarming around the threat.
  4. Grab the threat’s arms, legs or head and take him/her to the ground. Use body weight to secure him/her.
  5. “Fight dirty” – kick, bite, gouge eyes.
  6. Have somebody in the group call 911.
  7. When University Police arrive, obey all commands. You may be asked to keep your hands in the air; you may even be handcuffed until the police assess the situation. These steps are taken for safety reasons.