How to Prepare Your Family to Survive an Active Shooter Situation

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October 9, 2023 / Comments (0)

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Get yourself active shooter training with this collection of active shooter resources for your own knowledge and defense.

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How to Prepare Your Family to Survive an Active Shooter Situation

Why You Need Active Shooter Training

I thought I would take a second and share some pretty interesting things I have found on the internet. They are from some high-powered government agencies we can all use.

It is open to everyone to help make them aware and even hold training for an Active Shooter situation. These resources cover applications from the workplace, school campuses (K-12, Higher education, First Responders at Schools), and even churches or temples.

I want to be sure to make an absolute statement, I am not taking credit for writing any of these training. I just put them together and deliver them so everyone can have access to many different options and methods in regard to surviving a gun attack.

You can go to those sites and get the information for yourselves and implement them to make our world a bit safer and increase awareness as much as we can. I have also left the hyperlinks directly from the agency pages.

Get These Free Active Shooter Training Courses Today

The main place I have found much of the information regarding many things related to security and the EMS world is the FEMA Independent Study courses. These courses are free of charge and can even be applied towards college credits.

This information can be found on the FEMA page. If you want to learn more about them, please take a look at their website as I am not an expert on that subject.

At my day job, we have a bit of a unique situation. Our location is very far from pretty much everything which is good for us in case of trespassers.

By the time they get to us, they probably need some help getting out of there than causing us trouble. The bad part is we are located very far from pretty much everything.

This includes help and safety, in case things were to go bad. We take much care to prepare and follow our safety guidelines to the letter and nothing really happens, which we take pride in.

We are staffed for medical and fire-related emergencies but we are a bit lacking in security applications. I am sure this is not such a huge focus due to our remote location.

Though the issue still stands and will be, bad guys will come to call and we will not be able to fight back or defend ourselves.

Helping in the form of good guys with guns to stop bad guys with guns is a very long way off. And, it would take them much too long to arrive on the scene.

Preparing for a Nightmare with Active Shooter Training

In our worlds, our working worlds, many employers are in this thought process. Either due to remote locations and a mindset of “nothing here is worth stealing.”

Also, it is easier to replace the stuff and just give it to them than get hurt or lead to another's injury.

I would agree with this type of mindset but the issue in our world, today, it's not just about stealing stuff anymore. It's about hurting and killing as many people as they possibly can and then either killing themselves or suicide by cop.

I suppose this is all done to get their name and face on TV and in the end have some form of recognition. I just have no idea and cannot fathom why anyone would do this.

These are the issues and no one knows what might happen. So we need to be as prepared as our work, school, and church world will allow us to be.

Some employers, in fact, most, will not allow employees to be armed at work. I personally do not agree with this mentality.

But, that is a different focus for a different article. I am looking to figure out what can be done for the most amount of people in most places at all times.

The references and educational tools I am going to bring up here will help get the point across if it is something you may need to have in your world. They come from the top preparedness agencies and I am not advocating any of them.

I bring them up because everyone seems to listen when they speak, so as prepared people need to use this influence, and make our world a safer place.

The Agencies I Found Resources from Are

FEMA (see notes below)

Department of Homeland Security

The United States Secret Service

On these pages, you can find PDF files to print and disperse or even just copy and forward to whoever needs them. They have content readily available to download and use in a classroom setting to conduct training on these subjects.

They even have posters, booklets, pamphlets, and pocket cards you can download for a ready action plan.

So let me give a quick overview of what can be found, and where to find it, and then you can look for the information that may be most useful for your situation.

AGAIN, I expressly state that much of the details below are pulled from these sites. 

FEMA Information


FEMA has been under fire by both the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) and the Government Accountability Office (GAO) for their mismanagement of funds and their hiring practices. Since 1989, FEMA's administrative costs have doubled from 9% to 18%.

They have yet to change their administrative practices as of June of 2014 even under the recommendations of the GAO. This stems from their lack of trained managers and hiring those with little to zero experience with handling grants.


All of this came after the 2011 investigation from the OIG over their mismanagement of $643 million in fraudulent disaster payments to victims of Hurricane Katrina and different disasters. Check out the full article on the FEMA Mismanagement of Disaster Aid Programs.

Although they do not have the best track record when it comes to spending our tax dollars, they do have great information that can save lives in the event of an emergency.

FEMA Training on Active Shooter Response

Course Overview

“This course is not written for law enforcement officers but for non-law enforcement employees. The material may provide law enforcement officers with information on recommended actions for non-law enforcement employees to take should they be confronted with an active shooter situation.

This course provides guidance to individuals, including managers and employees, so that they can prepare to respond to an active shooter situation.”

Course Objectives

Upon completing this course, the participant will be able to:

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


  • Interactive Web-Based Course


Department of Homeland Security Information

Active Shooter Resources for Law Enforcement and Trainers

  • The National Summit on Multiple Casualty Shootings was a joint effort of the FLETC, the Department of Justice’s Office of Community-Oriented Policing Services, and the Johns Hopkins University. Subject matter experts from a wide range of disciplines, such as law enforcement, health care, law, social sciences, education, and academia came together in December 2012 to advance the national dialogue on preventing multiple casualty violence. The Report on the National Summit on Multiple Casualty Shootings contains eight recommendations, all centered on the need to create a strategic approach to information sharing in the prevention of multiple casualty violence.


  • Progress Report on the President’s Executive Actions to Help Reduce Gun Violence: The progress report details the completion of 21 of the 23 executive actions in January to help reduce gun violence, including fact sheets and guides to help develop high-quality emergency operations plans for K-12 schools, institutions of higher education and houses of worship.
  • The Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) and Active Shooter Web PortalThe Department of Homeland Security (DHS), in partnership with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), has launched a Countering Violent Extremism and Active Shooter (CVE-AS) Web Portal on the Homeland Security Information Network (HSIN). The purpose is to provide videos and training resources, as well as a document library with information and resources, covering numerous CVE and AS topics.

Active Shooter Training Provided by the Federal Law Enforcement Training Centers (FLETC)

The Active Shooter Threat Training Program (ASTTP) is a 24-hour instructor-led training program designed to instill within students the knowledge, skills, abilities, and mindset necessary to successfully respond to an active threat event.

The Active Shooter Threat Instructor Training Program (ASTITP) is a 40-hour instructor-led training program designed to prepare students to serve as instructors or field training officers in the specialized area of active shooter threat response. It covers tactical subject matters as well as the role of the instructor or field training officer by focusing on instructional methodologies, adult learning, scenario development, evaluation skills, and documentation requirements.

The Law Enforcement First Responder Training Program (LEFRTP) is a 24-hour classroom-based training program designed to help build critical skills law enforcement officers acting as first responders need. That is to effectively respond to mass consequence events, including criminal acts, terrorist attacks, and other large-scale emergencies.

Responding to an Active Shooter is a three-hour online course available to law enforcement officers through the FLETC’s online campus. The course introduces strategies that prepare officers for deadly force encounters, appropriate responses for static and dynamic tactical situations, and tactics for rapid deployment.

DHS: 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. The course will:

  • 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. Additional training for law enforcement is also available at the Federal Emergency Management Agency Law Enforcement Active Shooter Emergency Response.

 Active Shooter Webinar

A 90-minute Webinar can help the private and public sector understand the importance of developing an emergency response plan and the need to train employees on how to respond if confronted with an active shooter.


The presentation describes the three types of active shooters–workplace/school, criminal, and ideological–and how their planning cycles and behaviors differ.

Active Shooter 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 the 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 [email protected].

Active Shooter: How to Respond to 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 products include a desk reference guide, a reference poster, and a pocket-size reference card.

Issues covered in the active shooter materials include the following:

  • 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; and
  • Tips for recognizing signs of potential workplace violence.

Available Materials:

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.

Conducting  Security Assessments: A Guide for Schools and Houses of Worship Webinar

This Webinar will help participants learn the importance of conducting a security assessment of their facility, how to find the right support in conducting the assessment, and applicable security measures.

It will also help participants learn how to create a security culture that engages and involves all the members of their respective academic or faith communities.

Secret Service Information


Completed in 1998, The Exceptional Case Study Project identified and analyzed 83 persons known to have engaged in 73 incidents of assassination, attack, and near-attack behaviors from 1949 to 1995.

The findings indicated that there is no “profile” of an assassin; however, subjects exhibited a common set of “attack-related behaviors.”


Based on these findings, the Secret Service implemented significant policy changes in protective intelligence investigations.

The agency also developed key investigative questions and training materials that provide a framework for law enforcement to utilize in conducting threat assessment investigations at the federal, state, and local levels. The following reports are products derived from the ECSP:

Additional Materials

Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Sciences Preventing Targeted Violence Against Judicial Officials and Courts

Of note, this publication applies the principles and findings of the ECSP to the prevention of targeted violence against judicial officials. A separate study specifically examining judicial cases has not yet been conducted by NTAC.

RELATED: Secret Reports Exonerate Guns In School Shooter Creation

Targeted Violence Affecting Institutions of Higher Education

In response to the Virginia Tech shooting on April 16, 2007, this report included a recommendation that the U.S. Secret Service, U.S. Department of Education, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation explore the issue of violence at institutions of higher education.

Accordingly, the three agencies initiated a collaborative effort, the goal of which was to understand the scope of the problem of targeted violence at these institutions in the United States.

In total, 272 incidents were identified through a comprehensive search of open-source reporting from 1900 to 2008. The incidents studied include various forms of targeted violence, ranging from domestic violence to mass murder.

The findings should be useful for campus safety professionals charged with identifying, assessing, and managing violence risk at institutions of higher education. The following report was released in April 2010:

Active Shooter Training for Schools: The Safe School Initiative

In 2002, NTAC completed the Safe School Initiative (SSI), a study of attacks at K-12 schools. Conducted in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Education.

The studies examined incidents in the United States from 1974 through May 2000, analyzing a total of 37 incidents involving 41 student attackers.

It also involved an extensive review of police records, school records, court documents, and other source materials, and included interviews with 10 school shooters.

The focus of the study was on developing information about pre-attack behaviors and communications to identify information that may be identifiable or noticeable before such incidents occur.

At the completion of the SSI, the Secret Service and the U.S. Department of Education published two reports that detail the study's findings and lay out a process for threat assessment in schools:

Bystander Study

This study served as a follow-up to the Safe School Initiative (SSI). One of the most significant findings from the SSI is that prior to most school-based attacks, other children knew what was going to happen.

In collaboration with the U.S. Department of Education and McLean Hospital (a Harvard Medical School affiliate), NTAC interviewed friends, classmates, siblings, and others in whom school attackers confided their ideas and plans prior to their incidents.

Other interviews included students who came forward with information regarding a planned school-based attack and are believed to have prevented an attack from happening.

The goal of the study was to provide information to school administrators and educators regarding possible barriers that may prevent children who have information about a potential incident from reporting said information to a responsible adult. The following report details the findings of the study:

The Insider Threat Study

In 2002, NTAC partnered with Carnegie Mellon University's Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT) Program to conduct the Insider Threat Study (ITS). It also received financial support from the Department of Homeland Security's Science and Technology Directorate.

The ITS examined organizational insiders – current, former or contract employees – who perpetrated harm to their organizations via a computer or system/network for purposes of intellectual property theft, fraud, and acts of sabotage.

The study identified and analyzed insiders' behaviors (physical, social, and online) which may be detectable prior to an incident. The goal was to develop information to help private industry, government, and law enforcement better understand, detect, and ultimately prevent harmful insider activity by enhancing their threat assessment processes.

Analyzed from both behavioral and technical perspectives, the incidents included in the study involved companies/organizations, within various critical infrastructure sectors, that took place between 1996 and 2002.

Findings from the ITS underscore the importance of organizations' technology, policies, and procedures in securing their networks against insider threats. The four project reports listed below detail these findings:

FLETC Information: Active Shooter Training for Law Enforcement Only

Law Enforcement First Responders Training Program (LEFRTP)

This 3-day course will cover what to be prepared for as law enforcement personnel first responder. It will include a variety of different situations which allows a first responder to assess and address any situation.

WMDs, terror attacks, active shooters/threats, etc. are among these situations.

This course is designed solely for law enforcement personnel and support staff. Click here for the Full Course Overview.

Active Shooter Threat Training Program (ASTTP)

This 4-day course provides hands-on training to instill the knowledge and practices needed to successfully handle an active shooter situation. Over the 4 days, you will go over,

  • Active Threat Response Tactics
  • Basic Tactics
  • Tactical Medical

This course is designed solely for law enforcement personnel and support staff.

For the Full Course Overview Click Here.

Active Shooter Threat Instructor Training Program (ASTITP)

This 5-day course covers what a high-level field training agent or instructor would need to lead and instruct during an active shooter situation. Over the 5 days, you will go over,

  • Active Threat Response Tactics
  • Basic Tactics
  • In-Service Development for Tactics

This course is for those in a leadership role and is a step above the ASTTP. This course is designed solely for law enforcement personnel and support staff. For the Full Course Overview Click Here.

Watch this active shooter training video from Ready Houston:

In hindsight, you know how to survive an active shooter's attack. But, in reality, we all get a mental block when caught in life-and-death situations.

Extensive knowledge of active shooter behavior, as well as how to prepare for an active shooter will help you survive indeed!

Do you think this active shooter training is timely? Tell us your thoughts about it in the comments section below!

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Active Shooter Training: How To Prepare For An Active Shooter |

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on April 7, 2015, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.

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