Your reaction and ability to communicate well in the event that you encounter a hostile intruder at the facility can mean saving lives. There are a few things you should consider carefully now so that if an incident does arise, you are fully prepared to protect yourself and your students.
1. ESCAPE OR HIDE
If you know the hostile intruder's location and you can confidently escape the area, this is your safest option. If you run, do not run in a straight line; instead hide behind trees or other objects that might block the intruder's view of you. When this is not possible, immediately gather other faculty and students into a classroom or office, lock the door and cover the windows.
Above all, do not try to be a hero. Protect your students as best you can and always put their safety ahead of yours.
2. ALERT AUTHORITIES
Call 9-1-1 from an office phone or home phone. If the operators are overwhelmed with other calls, try calling local police or other emergency numbers, as well. Report:
- Your specific location
- The number of people you have with you
- Any injuries
- Any information you have about the intruder
If you know what the assailant looks like, give the most accurate description possible. Try to stay as quiet as possible while doing this; silence all cell phones and keep everyone calm and out of sight, away from windows and doors.
3. COOPERATE WITH POLICE
Do not leave your locked room until the police release you, and never enter into a hallway or open area. Before trying to rescue someone outside of the room, consider whether you might endanger the others in your group by doing so. When the first authorities arrive, they may not be able to tend immediately to any injured individuals - be patient, and when you are able to speak with authorities, give them as much information about the situation as you can.
4. BE PREPARED
Memorize the phone numbers of local authorities in your phone so that they are easily accessible should an incident occur. Visualize the specific actions you would take in the event of an emergency so that you are able to react quickly and without hesitation when lives are on the line.
Make sure that you staff has an emergency plan in place in case you are ever in this situation. Review the plan regularly at employee training.
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