Active Attacker

The possibility of an armed assailant on campus is extremely remote but there are things you should consider for your personal safety.

It is essential for the safety of occupants and emergency responders that individuals comply with instructions provided by emergency personnel at all times. For their own safety, emergency personnel must initially consider all individuals as potential threats.

  • Be aware of your environment, plan, know your exits, assess the situation, and react quickly
  • Choose Action over Fear while considering the three main options
    • Get Out - if you are in close proximity to an armed assailant, run away from the subject
    • Hide - if you cannot flee, or do not know the location of the shooter, hide in a locked or barricaded room and turn out the lights (additional direction is below)
    • Fight – if confronted by the shooter, as a last resort, fight for survival. Improvise weapons to disarm and incapacitate the armed assailant.

Be Prepared:

  • Install the AlertWesternU app (
  • Western Special Constable Service can be reached at 519-661-3300; save the number to your cell phone
  • Designate two places to hide in your building; assess the security of your hiding places, does your door have a lock?

What to Do:

  • If you are in a classroom, room or office, stay there, secure the door and windows
  • If the door does not lock consider barricading the door with tables and chairs
  • If you are in a corridor, go into the closest office not already secured
  • Close curtains or blinds where possible; stay away from windows and doors
  • Stay low and keep quiet; cell phones should be put on quiet or vibrate mode
  • If the fire alarm is activated, remain where you are and await further instructions
  • If possible, monitor for updates; media reports may be the first available information

Actions to Avoid:

  • DO NOT open the door once it has been secured until you are officially advised “all clear” or are certain it is emergency response personnel at the door
  • DO NOT travel down long corridors
  • DO NOT assemble in large open areas (e.g. cafeterias or assembly points)
  • DO NOT call 911 unless you have immediate concern for your safety, the safety of others, or feel you have critical information that will assist emergency personnel; keep phone lines clear