Active shooter incidents aren’t anything new, but they seem to be more common, especially when you see regular coverage on local and national news.
While the odds are low of it actually happening, no business, school, hospital or other organization ever expects it to happen. It’s usually only after the fact that businesses create active shooter preparedness strategies.
However, you can help save lives by starting now. Don’t wait until it’s too late.
Active Shooter Incident Statistics
Despite how it may sound, there aren’t regular active shooter incidents every day or week. There are enough to make it a security risk worth preparing for, though.
In Georgia, there were already 14 mass shooting incidents in less than a year in 2016. Four of those incidents were in Atlanta. It’s also important to note that Georgia has been steadily rising as one of the top states for gun violence, which could potentially lead to more active shooter incidents. As of 2016, Georgia ranked fourth, up four spots since 2005.
Of course, Atlanta and Georgia overall aren’t the only areas that should prepare. The FBI released statistics on active shooter incidents between 2000 and 2017. The numbers are shocking to say the least.
There have been 250 incidents during that time frame. In 2017 alone, 30 individual active shooter incidents occurred, which is the highest number during the time period. There were also a staggering 729 casualties that same year. The previous year only had 214 casualties.
This shows that active shooter incidents are on the rise nationwide as are casualty numbers. As a reference, there was only one incident in 2000.
Why It’s Important To Prepare
Some security risks and emergency situations are easy to predict. For instance, natural disasters might give you a warning. Hurricanes may cause tornadoes and extensive flooding, but you have time to prepare. Every business knows fires are always a possibility and have alarms, sprinklers and evacuation plans.
With active shooter incidents, you never have any warning. You go from normal to utter chaos and panic in a just a few seconds. Unless employees are prepared, they may just run or hide in areas that aren’t safe. Without preparation, they may be in far more danger.
Creating An Active Shooter Plan
This is why every single business and organization needs an active shooter plan now. Whether it happens or not, employees need to know what to do and where to go. They also need to know how to help any customers or guests that may be in the building.
For instance, Georgia Tech published a quick graphic on whether you should run, hide or fight. It showcases several things you might not think of without prior preparation, such as immediately silencing your phone.
Your plan should include evacuation strategies, which rooms are the most secure, where to hide in different areas, what could be used as weapons in the worst case scenario, where first aid kits are located and how to help others. We’ve created a guide for creating your own plan.
Enlisting Security Guards To Help
Something that’s commonly overlooked is how trained security guards can help. First, they’re trained to notice when something doesn’t seem right. Before an active shooter has the chance to cause any trouble, they may be able to detain the person.
Also, if an incident does occur, they’re trained to remain as calm as possible and help everyone in the building get to safety quickly. While it’s impossible to predict what an active shooter might do, having someone with a law enforcement background is ideal in a crisis such as this.
Contact BOS Security
Preparedness is the first step to protecting your employees and customers during an active shooter incident. While we hope it’s something you never have to encounter, contact us today at 404-793-6965 to learn how we can help your business prepare.
Learn more about the potential security vulnerabilities an active shooter might exploit with our free Security Needs Assessment. It’s a great first step in creating a better security plan.
Image: David von Diemar