The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) recently released updated statistics for active shooter incidents in 2018. While the FBI separates incidents that occur in “areas of commerce” from other locations like schools and places of worship, it’s important to remember that those non-commerce areas include employees, too. Viewed through that lens, nearly all the incidents occurred in places of employment in 2018.
Five of the incidents in 2018 ended when the shooter was confronted by a citizen, a reminder that proper training can save lives.
While the total number of events decreased slightly from 2017 (from 30 to 27), the numbers remain a stark reminder to employers that preparation for the unthinkable is essential. Though the work of preparing for such an event can be scary, being unprepared in the face of an attack is far scarier. Consider creating an emergency action plan and offering training to interested employees (mandatory training can traumatize employees if they aren't prepared).
What about active shooter recovery?
When creating your organization’s emergency action plan, it’s understandable that much of the focus will be on the emergency event itself. But an effective plan will also address what happens to your business long after law enforcement leaves. Consider asking the following recovery questions when creating your plan:
❑ Will your business re-open its doors? When?
❑ Will you continue to pay employees while your doors are closed?
❑ How will you handle employees who aren’t able to return to work due to injury or fear?
❑ What critical coverage areas will need to be filled if employees can’t return to work?
❑ Will you offer counseling to affected employees? If yes, for how long?
❑ Will you help take care of victims’ families?
❑ Should managers receive training to help employees cope with crisis, as well as to identify signs that employees are struggling?
❑ Will you have a memorial service? Where? When?
If memorial items like flowers, candles, and signs are left by the community, how long will you leave them there? What will you do with the items left?
❑ How will you honor the anniversary of that day?
❑ How will you market your business following the inevitable publicity?
Key to remember: Though active shooter incidents decreased slightly in 2018, employers should remain vigilant and be prepared.
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