Sammamish Summer of Safety: Preparing For, and Responding After, an Active Shooter Incident

Release Date: August 09, 2019

Tragically, mass shootings have become more frequent in public gathering places, houses of worship, and schools. The recent atrocities in Dayton, OH, and El Paso, TX, remind us that the risk is real: an active shooter incident can happen in any place at any time. The best ways to make sure you and your loved ones stay safe are to prepare ahead of time and be ready.

Preparing now and mentally rehearsing what to do can help you react quickly when every second counts.


  • Take a class in Active Shooter Preparedness or CERT Basic Training.
  • Learn and practice first aid skills and the use of tourniquets through a course such as Stop the Bleed.
  • When in public areas, identify exits and potential places to hide.
  • Have a plan with your family as to how and where you would reunite if separated.
  • If you see something suspicious or threatening, say something.


  • RUN. Distancing yourself from the shooter or shooters is the top priority. Leave your things behind and run away. If safe to do so, warn others nearby. Call 911 when you are safe. Describe each shooter, their locations, and weapons.
  • HIDE. If you can’t get away safely, find a place to hide. Get out of the shooter’s view and stay very quiet. Silence your electronic devices and make sure they won’t vibrate. Lock and block doors, close blinds, and turn off the lights. Find cover behind something that will not only conceal your location, but also stop a bullet. Stay in place until law enforcement gives you the all clear
  • FIGHT. Your last resort when you are in immediate danger is to defend yourself. Commit to your actions and act aggressively to stop the shooter. Ambushing the shooter together with makeshift weapons such as chairs, fire extinguishers, scissors, and books can distract and disarm the shooter.


  • Keep hands visible and empty.
  • Know that law enforcement’s first task is to end the incident, and they may have to pass injured along the way.
  • Follow law enforcement instructions and evacuate in the direction they come from.
  • Consider seeking professional help for you and your family to cope with the long-term effects of the trauma.


  • Take care of yourself first, and then you may be able to help the wounded before first responders arrive:
  • If the injured are in immediate danger, help get them to safety.
  • While you wait for first responders to arrive, provide first aid—apply direct pressure to wounds and use tourniquets if you have been trained to do so.

There are additional resources found on the City's Emergency Preparedness web page:

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