Human Resources or Security Professional

DHS partners with a broad range of stakeholders to provide resources to help organizations and facilities plan for an active shooter incident.

Active Shooter: What You Can Do

DHS has developed an independent study course entitled Active Shooter: What You Can Do. This course was developed to provide the public with guidance on how to prepare for and respond to active shooter crisis situations.

Upon completion of Active Shooter: What You Can Do, employees and managers will be able to:

  • Describe the actions to take when confronted with an active shooter and to assist responding law enforcement officials;
  • Recognize potential workplace violence indicators;
  • Describe actions to take to prevent and prepare for potential active shooter incidents; and
  • Describe how to manage the consequences of an active shooter incident.

The online training is available through the Federal Emergency Management Agency Emergency Management Institute and additional training for law enforcement is available at Federal Emergency Management Agency Law Enforcement Active Shooter Emergency Response.

Workshop Series

Active Shooter workshops have already taken place in a number of U.S. cities and will continue to be held in a number of locations in the future. These scenario-based workshops feature facilitated discussions to engage private sector professionals and law enforcement representatives from Federal, State, and local agencies to learn how to prepare for, and respond to, an active shooter situation. Through the course of the exercise, participants evaluate current response concepts, plans, and capabilities for coordinated responses to active shooter incidents.

If you are interested in future workshops, please contact

"How to Respond" Resource Materials

DHS has developed a series of materials to assist businesses, government offices, and schools in preparing for and responding to an active shooter. These resources include a detailed booklet, a desk reference guide, a reference poster, and a pocket-size reference card. DHS has also developed both a Recovery Guide, and an Incident Fact Sheet to assist your organization as you consider the recovery phase of an event.

Issues covered in the active shooter resources include:

  • Profile of an active shooter
  • Responding to an active shooter or other workplace violence situation
  • Training for an active shooter situation and creating an emergency action plan
  • Tips for recognizing signs of potential workplace violence

Active Shooter Resources

"Options for Consideration" Active Shooter Preparedness Video

Options for Consideration demonstrates possible actions to take if confronted with an active shooter scenario. The video also shows how to assist authorities once law enforcement enters the scene. You may also access the video on YouTube.

Protecting Houses of Worship Video

This video was developed to inform the faith-based community of options for consideration to mitigate risk to places of worship and related facilities.

Active Assailant Security Resources

The following active assailant action guides provide the critical infrastructure community with information regarding attack vectors used by terrorists and other extremist actors as well as corresponding suggested protective measures. The “Mass Gatherings: Take Charge of Your Personal Safety” action guide increases the general public’s understanding of the immediate actions that can be taken during an incident to mitigate its impact. This action guide can also serve as a poster for the critical infrastructure community to use during events.

Victims Assistance

Office for Victims of Crime: “A comprehensive preparedness and security program should consider methods to support victims following an incident. There are a multitude of federal resources that assist in promoting justice and healing for victims. For example, the Department of Justice Office for Victims of Crime (OVC) helps communities prepare for, and respond to, victims of mass violence events – including an active shooter incident – with checklists, a compendium of resources, and other pertinent victim-related materials with the Mass Violence Toolkit. Additionally, OVC provides free training and technical assistance on its toolkit to public and non-profit entities. Finally, OVC provides the Vicarious Trauma Toolkit, which enhances individuals and organizations’ understanding of the impacts of vicarious trauma, and how to locate tools to help strengthen agency response.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services leads public health efforts to advance the behavioral health of the nation and to improve the lives of individuals living with mental and substance use disorders, and their families. To learn more, click here: SAMHSA - Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

Access and Functional Needs Video

This video will assist in better preparing organizations by expanding the current knowledge base of the subject while encouraging owners and operators to incorporate this useful information into their organization’s.

Active Shooter Emergency Action Plan

The Active Shooter Emergency Action Plan Guide supplements the Active Shooter Emergency Action Plan Video. Together, they create a virtual training tool designed to help develop an organization’s Active Shooter Emergency Action Plan.

The Active Shooter Emergency Action Plan Video describes the fundamental concepts of developing an Emergency Action Plan (EAP) for an active shooter scenario. This instructive video guides viewers through important considerations of EAP development utilizing the first-hand perspectives of active shooter survivors, first responder personnel, and other subject matter experts who share their unique insight.

The Active Shooter Emergency Action Plan Template is a fillable form useful in documenting an organization’s Active Shooter Emergency Action Plan.

Emergency Action Planning Trailer

The Active Shooter Emergency Action Planning (EAP) video is a comprehensive active shooter preparedness, response, and recovery resource that utilizes interviews with first responders, survivors of active shooter events, and other subject matter experts to capture best practices and lessons learned. This video trailer gives an overview of how the Active Shooter Emergency Action Planning (EAP) video combines state-of-threat awareness with state-of-practice solutions that will empower you to build resilience for your community, organization, family, and home.

Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Active Shooter Resources

The Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Active Shooter Resources webpage has additional resources for human resources and security professionals that address active shooter scenarios across a broad spectrum of facilities and circumstances, including a variety of training resources, reports, and a guide that explains how to incorporate active shooter planning into an emergency operations plan for healthcare facilities.

Business Continuity Planning Suite

With the goal of helping a business or organization better prepare to minimize disruption of service and maintain normal business operations during an emergency or crisis, the Business Continuity Planning Suite aims to create, update, or improve an organization’s business continuity plan. The suite provides an overview on business continuity planning, prepares users to write their own plan, and has tools to generate a plan tailored to their specific organization.

Insider Threat Trailer and Video

The Insider Threat trailer previews key points discussed in the Insider Threat video and highlights the importance of a comprehensive Insider Threat Program.

The Insider Threat video uses security and behavior experts to discuss how insider threats manifest in a variety of ways including terrorism, workplace violence, and breaches of cybersecurity. Understanding how to recognize and respond to these various types of insider threats, whether non-violent or violent, increases an organization’s ability to protect both its people and sensitive information.

Security of Soft Targets and Crowded Places Resource Guide

Segments of our society are inherently open to the general public, and by nature of their purpose do not incorporate strict security measures. Given the increased emphasis by terrorists and other extremist actors to leverage less sophisticated methods to inflict harm in public areas, it is vital that the public and private sectors collaborate to enhance security of locations such as transportation centers, parks, restaurants, shopping centers, special event venues, and similar facilities. The Security of Soft Targets and Crowded Places Resource Guide is a catalog of IP soft target resources, many of which were created in collaboration with our partners to ensure they are useful and reflective of the dynamic environment we live in.

Vehicle Ramming Attack Mitigation

The video provides information to assist with mitigating the evolving threat corresponding to vehicle ramming incidents with insightful technical analysis from public and private sector subject matter experts. It leverages real-world events, and provides recommendations aimed at protecting organizations as well as individuals against a potential vehicle ramming incident.


Pathway to Violence

Pathway to Violence Video

The "Pathway to Violence" video provides information regarding the behavior indicators that assailants often demonstrate before a violent act. Behavior experts reference research conducted by Frederick Calhoun and Steve Weston’s on threat management and further describes the six progressive steps that may be observable by colleagues. The video also includes law enforcement expert interviews that discuss engagement strategies and recommended responses to someone potentially on a pathway to violence.

Download the printer-friendly Pathway to Violence fact sheet that explains warning signs that may lead to violence and what individuals can do to mitigate a potential incident.

Contact Information

To get more information on the active shooter preparedness program, please send an email to

In case of an emergency, or to report suspicious activity or events, call 9-1-1 or contact your local law enforcement.

Was this webpage helpful?  Yes  |  Somewhat  |  No