Active Threat

Responding to an active threat on campus

Community Response Checklist

Responding to an active threat on campus

Your goal is to create space between yourself and the threat.

  • If you can safely get out of the building, get away as quickly as possible.
  • Always know where the exits are located.

If you can not safely exit, follow these steps.

Run, Hide or Fight

Because active shooter situations only last 10-15 minutes, individuals must be prepared both mentally and physically to deal with the situation before law enforcement arrives on the scene.

Very quickly, make your best determination of which option of the “Run, Hide or Fight” protocol will provide the greatest degree of security for you.


If the assailant’s location is known and the opportunity to escape is available, flee the area.

  • Have an escape plan in mind.
  • If you are outside near the threat, find cover immediately!
  • DO NOT pull the fire alarm to alert others.
  • Keep your hands empty and visible and follow all instructions from public safety officials


If you are inside a building and the assailant(s) location is unknown, secure in place and deny access.

  • Lock and/or barricade doors with heavy furniture
  • Stay away from doors and windows
  • Turn off lights
  • Bock windows
  • Turn off radios and computer monitors
  • Keep yourself out of sight (take cover/protection (i.e., concrete wall, thick desks, filing cabinets)
  • Silence cell phones
  • Without jeopardizing safety, call or text 9-1-1 (if you cannot speak, leave the line open and allow the dispatcher to listen)


As a last resort and only if your life is in immediate danger, defend yourself.

  • Work as a group if possible
  • Improvise weapons
  • Commit to your actions
  • Call 911 when it is safe to do so.

Un-Securing an Area

  • Consider risks before un-securing rooms
  • Remember, the threat may not stop until they are engaged by an outside force
  • Attempts to rescue people should only be attempted if it can be accomplished without further endangering the persons inside a secured area
  • Consider the safety of masses vs. the safety of a few.
  • If doubt exists for the safety of the individuals inside the room, the area should remain secured.

Contact Authorities

  • Call 911 immediately
  • 605.274.4014 DCS (non-emergency line)
  • Be aware that the 911 system will likely be overwhelmed. Program the Augustana DCS line (605.274.4014) into your cell phone.

What to Report

  • Your specific location — building name and office/room number
  • Number of people at your specific location
  • Injuries — number injured, type of injuries
  • Assailant(s) — locations, number of suspects, race/gender, clothing, description, physical features, types of weapons (long gun or hand gun), backpack, shooters identity if known, separate explosions from gunfire, etc.

Police Response

  • Objective is to immediately engage the threat(s)
  • Keep in mind the police will consider everyone a potential threat, keep your hands up in plain view for them to see.
  • Evacuate victims