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Tips for Preparing an Active Shooter Plan

Recently it seems, there has been a rise in active shooter incidents in Thailand. This article discusses some useful tips on the preparation of an active shooter plan that you can develop and practice with your team.

Active shooter madmen seem to be coming out of the woodwork, killing random people with high-powered firearms.

For this reason, it’s time to consider developing an active shooter plan for such an event to keep your employees safe in Thailand.

If you Fail to Plan, You Plan to Fail

Make certain to have a well written Active Shooter Plan and run regular training drills on it.

I have prepared here a summary from a US website, that is largely for a US-based audience.

However, I will be preparing a downloadable Thai version (soon) that you can use in your workplace or modify to your own requirements.

What to do in an Active Shooter Scenario?

  • Firstly, learn how to recognize the signs of potential violence around you.
  • When an active shooting event begins, it is important to follow procedures and stay as calm as possible.
  • Know what to expect AFTER an active shooting takes place. 
  • Remember that during an active shooting: RUN. HIDE. FIGHT. is the mantra.

Planning Ahead

Keep Yourself Informed

  • If you see something out of the ordinary, say something to an authority right away. Your building guards have probably been trained on who to call.
  • Be aware of your environment and any possible dangers. Always seek out an escape route in your mind.

Develop and Follow an Active Shooter Plan

  • Make a plan with your company and even with your own family. Ensure everyone knows what they should do if confronted with an active shooter.
  • Look for the two nearest exits anywhere you go. Have an escape path in mind & identify places you could hide.
  • Ensure your Active Shooter plan includes consideration for individuals with disabilities or other needs.
  • In your plan, develop and practice a regular drill to hide and/or escape your premises.

During an Active Shooter Event

RUN and leave the building immediately, if possible.

  • Getting away from the shooter or shooters is the top priority.
  • Leave your belongings behind and escape immediately.
  • Help others escape, if possible, but evacuate regardless of whether others agree to follow.
  • Warn and prevent individuals from entering an area where the active shooter may be.
  • When you are safe, and describe shooter to the police, describe the location, and weapons being used to the best of your ability (i.e. handgun, automatic rifle, knife).

HIDE, if escape is not possible.

  • Get out of the shooter’s view and stay very quiet.
  • Silence all electronic devices and make sure they won’t vibrate.
  • Lock and block doors, close blinds, and turn off lights.
  • Don’t hide in groups- spread out along walls or hide separately to make it more difficult for the shooter.
  • Try to communicate with the police silently. Use text message or social media to tag your location, or put a sign in a window.
  • Always remain in place until law enforcement gives you the all-clear signal
  • Your hiding place should be out of the shooter’s view and provide protection if shots are fired in your direction.

FIGHT as an absolute last resort.

  • Commit to your actions and act as aggressively as possible against the shooter.
  • Recruit others to ambush the shooter with makeshift weapons like chairs, fire extinguishers, scissors, books, etc.
  • Be prepared to cause severe or lethal injury to the shooter.
  • Throw items and improvise weapons to distract and disarm the shooter.

After an Active Shooter Event

  • Always keep your hands visible and empty.
  • Know that law enforcement’s first task is to end the incident, and they may have to pass injured along the way.
  • Police may be armed with rifles, shotguns, and/or handguns and may use pepper spray or tear gas to control the situation.
  • Law enforcement will shout commands and may push individuals to the ground for their safety.
  • Likewise, follow law enforcement instructions and evacuate in the direction they come from unless otherwise instructed.
  • Above all, be sure to take care of yourself first, and then you may be able to help the wounded before first responders arrive.
  • If the injured are in immediate danger, help get them to safety.
  • While you wait for first responders to arrive, provide first aid. Apply direct pressure to wounded areas and use tourniquets if you have been trained to do so.
  • Turn wounded people onto their sides if they are unconscious and keep them warm.
  • Consider seeking professional help for you and your family to cope with the long-term effects of the trauma.

To the best of my knowledge, there are no companies offering Active Shooter protection training in Thailand. Therefore, you should consider getting trained on firearms and in self-defence methods such as Krav Maga. Highly recommended.

Lastly, your company should seriously consider writing an Active Shooter Policy. Plan for these horrible situations, just like you would for any other emergency scenario.

If your company needs assistance building an Active Shooter Policy and would like guidance from a qualified Occupational Health and Safety specialist, please get in touch with me on LinkedIn messaging and I will be happy to advise.

Also, be sure to read my article on protecting yourself from the COVID-19 (Corona Virus).

Know more about your Occupational Health & Safety responsibilities in Thailand.

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