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Organizations still unprepared for active shooter incidents

News   •   Sep 02, 2016 11:06 BST

Organizations across the world are overwhelmingly concerned about violent acts occurring in the workplace, particularly events such as active shooter incidents, but despite that concern, the majority are still not properly prepared for one taking place. This is according to a new study carried out by Everbridge and EMS Solutions.

The Active Shooter Preparedness Research Report revealed that 69% of organizations view an active shooter incident as a potential top threat, with workplace violence also cited as a top threat by 62%. Respondents were asked how prepared they felt they were for an active shooter event, and only 21% felt that they were ready, while the remaining 79% stated their organization was, at best, somewhat prepared for an active shooter incident. Even among those who felt prepared, only 7% said they were very much prepared.

39% don’t have a communications plan in place for active shooter events, and a similar number (44%) don’t have a plan to communicate and escalate alerts to those most likely to be impacted. The majority of respondents (61%) do not run any active shooter preparedness drills which further shows how unprepared they are for potential incidents.

Physical security has also been growing as a concern for business continuity professionals  with ‘security incident’ moving up to 5th place in the Business Continuity Institute’s latest Horizon Scan Report, while ‘act of terrorism’ moved up to 4th place. 55% of respondents to a global survey expressed concern about the prospect of either of these threats materialising.

The results of this study underscore a very disturbing trend. While an active-shooter scenario is every company’s nightmare, few organizations are prepared to effectively manage the situation,” said Regina Phelps, Founder, EMS Solutions. “Companies need to move beyond fear into action, take clear steps to prevent an attack from happening and also be prepared if it does.

Communication plans, education and practice are critical to being prepared for any emergency situation,” added Imad Mouline, CTO of Everbridge. “During an active shooter incident, it is imperative that organizations have a way to quickly and reliably locate individuals in harm’s way and share relevant information, such as instructions to either shelter-in-place or evacuate a particular part of a building. This research shows far too many organizations still have a long way to go to call themselves prepared to locate and inform affected personnel during an active shooter situation.

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