Be prepared: Active shooter situations

The following information will tell you what to do:

  • if there is an active shooter in your building,
  • if evacuation from your building is not safe,
  • if your life is in danger and
  • when law enforcement arrives.

It is extremely unlikely that you will ever encounter an active threat on a UBC campus.

You are in a very safe place.

Even so, it could happen either on campus or somewhere else in your lifetime.

An active shooter is a person actively shooting at people, usually at random, in a confined or populated area. In most cases, there is no pattern or method to their actions. Active shooter situations evolve quickly and can be over in 10 to 15 minutes.  Refer to for all updates in the event of an incident occurring.

If faced with an active shooter incident, there are THREE things you can do that make a difference:


Watch UBC Okanagan’s training video for active shooter situations

Please take a few minutes to view UBC Okanagan’s Active Shooter Training Video from our face-to-face training sessions.


What to do if there is an active shooter in your building?

  • If you determine it is safe, RUN (get out)! This is your first and best option.
  • Leave your belongings behind.
  • Advise others not to enter the danger zone.
  • Call Police – 911 as soon as it is safe to do so.

What to do if evacuation from your building is not safe?

  • If evacuation is not possible, find a place to HIDE
  • Lock and/or barricade the door.
  • Turn off or silence your cell phone, including the vibrate feature.
  • Hide behind large objects if possible.
  • Stay low, below window level and be quiet.
  • Close curtains or blinds where possible.
  • Await instruction or escort from law enforcement (if unsure, they will have a key)

What to do if your life is in danger?

  • As a last resort, and if you feel your life is in danger; FIGHT.
  • Attempt to incapacitate the shooter.
  • Act with physical aggression.
  • Improvise weapons.
  • Commit to your actions.
  • Once the shooter is incapacitated, call Police – 911.

What to do when law enforcement arrives?

  • Keep your EMPTY hands raised and visible.
  • Remain calm and follow instructions.
  • Avoid pointing or yelling.
  • The first police officers to arrive will not respond to or aid those who are injured. They will go directly to the shooter.
  • Know that help for the injured is on its way.
  • The area is a crime scene. Police may secure all witnesses until identified and questioned.