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Active Shooter Preparedness Training: The Importance of Preparing for the Unthinkable

Updated: Jan 15, 2020

Preparing for an active shooter incident is a topic that many of us in early childhood education never imagined having to discuss, much less attend a training on. However, as these incidents in the United States have become more frequent, we are increasingly being asked by parents, staff, and regulators to prepare plans, conduct drills, and host training sessions to ensure that providers and children are prepared for such an occurrence.

What would you do if an event like this happened tomorrow? Would you know what to do? Would your colleagues know what to do? We know this is complicated, let us put the pieces together for you.

In examining recent mass shooting incidents, 70% have occurred either at a school or at a business. We must begin to think about where we work, what threats we face and how we would respond if one of these incidents did occur.

For early childhood professionals, this task is even more complex, as we must not only consider how best to protect ourselves but also how best to protect the children in our care.

Practice really does make perfect - and the time to develop and practice our active shooter plan is now. Much like we do not want to learn how to use a fire extinguisher while the building is on fire, we also do not want to be creating our active shooter plans and policies when an event is occurring.

Planning for an active shooter event is a complex process. Examining your existing policies and current emergency procedures is a start, but we also must think about our communications strategy, how best to increase safety/security of our facilities and how to ensure that all staff knows the plan and expectations of them during one of these incidents.