Use discretion during an active shooter event as to whether to run to safety or remain in place. Best practices for surviving an active shooter event are listed below.

Develop a Survival Mindset

Awareness and Preparation: Take time to understand your surroundings and environment before an emergency occurs. Ask yourself, “What if?” questions and develop a plan.

Make a decision, trusting your instincts, to take action to protect yourself to survive the situation. You generally will have three options:

1. Run

Your first priority should be escape.

2. Hide

If you can't run, find a place to hide.

3. Fight

As a last resort, prepare to fight.

Run for Safety

  • If there is an escape path, attempt to evacuate.
  • Evacuate whether others agree to or not.
  • Take your cell phone if you can, but leave your belongings behind.
  • Help others escape if possible.
  • Prevent others from entering the area.
  • Call 911 when you are safe.

Hide in a Safe Place

If you are unable to escape, find a place to hide.

If You Are Inside

  • Find a hidden location.
  • Lock and/or blockade the door with furniture or other heavy objects.
  • Close any blinds and turn off the lights.
  • Remain quiet and silence cell phones.
  • Spread out from other individuals and move behind available cover.
  • Stay on the floor away from doors or windows, and do not peek out to see what may be happening.
  • Make a plan with others in the room about what you will do if the shooter enters.
  • Make a total commitment to action and act as a team.
  • Do whatever is necessary to survive the situation.
  • If it is safe to do so, report the location of the assailant.

If You Are Outside

  • Drop to the ground immediately, face down, as flat as possible. If within 15–20 feet of a safe place or cover, duck and run to it.
  • Move or crawl away from gunfire, trying to utilize any obstructions between you and the gunfire. Remember that many objects may conceal you from sight but may not be bulletproof.
  • When you reach a place of relative safety, stay down and do not move. Do not peek or raise your head in an effort to see what may be happening.
  • Wait and listen for directions from Samford University Police and/or law enforcement personnel.

Fight as a Last Resort

As a last resort, you may have to engage a shooter to survive.

  • Make a plan and attempt to incapacitate the shooter.
  • Act with physical aggression.
  • Improvise weapons.
  • Make a total commitment to action.
  • Do whatever is necessary to survive the situation.

Calling for Help

  • Call 911 or the University Police at (205) 726-2020. Do not assume that someone else has reported the incident. Be persistent; phones may be jammed.
  • Calmly identify yourself and your exact location. Remain calm and answer the dispatcher’s questions. The dispatcher is trained to obtain the necessary information for an appropriate emergency response.
  • If you can, describe the criminal. Note height, weight, gender, race, approximate age, clothing, method and direction of travel, and the criminal's name, if known.
  • If the suspect is entering a vehicle and it is safe to do so, note the license plate number, make and model, color, and outstanding characteristics.

When Law Enforcement Arrives

  • The priority of the first responders is to identify the shooter. Law enforcement will need to ensure that you are not the shooter.
  • Do not run at them or make sudden movements.
  • Do not scream, yell, point or wave your arms.
  • Do not hold anything in your hands that could be mistaken for a weapon (including cell phones).
  • Be quiet and compliant.
  • Show the officers your empty hands and follow their instructions.
  • Tell the officers the number of shooters.
  • Give the location and physical description of the shooters.
  • Give the number and types of weapons.
  • You will be given instructions as to how to exit your location once it is safe to do so.