Lockdown Guidance

During some emergencies, it may become necessary to "lockdown" the building to protect lives and minimize the overall exposure to danger. A lockdown can last from a few minutes to several hours, depending on the situation. You should follow your organization/school/business plan. Generally accepted guidelines are as follows.


The video "Run. Hide. Fight" by Ready Houston is promoted by the FBI and is a valuable tool for training.

If Gunshots Are Heard

Inside Your Building

  • Run - Run and escape if possible. After obtaining a safe distance away, call 911. Report location of shooter(s); number of shooter(s); physical description of the shooter(s); Number/type of weapons; Use of threat of explosives; and whether or not they are still shooting.
  • Hide - Hide if escape is ill advised. Lay on the floor, using heavy objects such as tables, desks, or filing cabinets for protection. Barricade the door if in a closed space. Cover the windows; turn off the lights. Remain silent and stay in place.
  • Fight - Fight, as a last resort and forced to. Look for something to use as a weapon. Negotiation is not an option. Disrupt or disable the attacker by any means necessary. Be aggressive; incapacitate the attacker; commit to your actions.
If you hide and the Lockdown has been initiated, try to remain calm and follow instructions from leadership:
  • Lock all interior area doors and windows; barricade the door, sit on the floor against the wall that is out of view from windows and doors, remain silent. Stay out of sight.
  • Turn off all lights and if safe to do so
  • Silence and turn off vibrate mode of phones and remain quiet.
  • Do not permit entry or exit to anyone until the "all clear" has been given by official personnel.
  • Use non-verbal communication to provide your status and location to First Responders, your chain of command, and loved ones.
  • Do not pull or respond to the fire alarm unless instructed to do so by official, law enforcement personnel. Ignore fire alarms unless you are in danger by smoke and/or fire.
  • Remain quiet and calm fellow co-workers.

If Outdoors

Move as far away as you can from any building where a threat is present and enter the nearest safe building. If there are no buildings, lie near or hide behind trees or walls, and listen for First Responders instructions and/or other alerts.

In Another Building

Do not call the effected building. Phone calls to anyone inside the building under threat may endanger them, draw undue attention toward the ring, and give away hiding locations. Contact only those individuals on your personal, non-verbal contact plan to ensure you do not put others at risk by activating their phones After-Action Procedures. Stay in your safe area until contacted by a uniformed/identifiable First Responder. Follow any instructions and answer questions from law enforcement officials. If directed, all personnel should prepare to report accountability.