Active Threat

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. Event is unpredictable and evolves quickly. Knowing what to do can save lives.

When an active shooter is in your vicinity, you must be prepared both mentally and physically to deal with the situation. If faced with an active shooter incident either on UBC campus or elsewhere, you have THREE options to protect your personal safety immediately — RUN, HIDE, FIGHT.

For updates in the event of an incident occurring, refer to

Run, Hide, Fight

Run (get out)

If you see or hear an armed intruder and if you believe it is possible to safely exit the area — RUN!

  • Leave belongings behind.
  • Advise others to leave.
  • Assist others if you can.
  • Warn others of the threat.
  • Call police — 911, as soon as it is safe to do so.

Hide (hide out)

If you don’t know exactly where the shooting is happening or evacuation is not possible to escape safely — HIDE!

  • Take shelter if you are inside a classroom or office, stay there. If you are in a corridor, go to the closest room that’s not already locked.
  • Lock windows and doors, refer to any lockdown procedures posted in the room and await instructions from emergency personnel.
  • Barricade the entry if the door does not lock. Use tables and chairs.
  • Close curtains and blinds.
  • Turn off the lights.
  • Keep quiet. Put your cell phone on silent mode — including the vibrate feature.
  • Hide behind large objects if possible.
  • Stay low and keep away from windows and doors.
  • Remain calm and await further instructions from emergency personnel.
  • Call 911if safe to do so.
  • If the fire alarm is activated, remain where you are and await further instructions from emergency personnel.
  • Do not open the door for anyone unless they validate their identity as an emergency personnel.

Fight/Defend (take out)

As an absolute last resort if you cannot run or hide, and if you feel your life is in imminent danger — FIGHT!

  • Commit to your actions with the goal being to delay, block, or overcome the threat.
  • Work with the people around you.
  • Do what you need to stay alive, including using force to protect yourself.
  • Look for objects that could be used as tools for self-defence.

When police arrive

  • Remain calm and follow instructions.
  • Drop items in your hands (i.e. bags, jackets).
  • Keep hands raised (spread fingers) and visible at all times.
  • Avoid quick movements toward officers, such as holding on to them for safety.
  • Avoid pointing, screaming or yelling.
  • Do not ask questions when evacuating.

The first officers to arrive on scene are tasked to end the incident, and they may not stop to help the injured. Know that rescue teams will enter after the initial officers. These rescue teams will treat and remove the injured once it is safe to do so.

Once you have reached a safe location, you will likely be held in that area by police until the situation is under control and all witnesses have been identified and questioned. Do not leave the area until police have instructed you to do so.

Information to 911 operators

  • Location of the active shooter.
  • Your location.
  • Number of shooter(s).
  • Physical description of shooter(s).
  • Number and type of weapons held by the shooter(s).
  • Number of potential victims at location.

Emergency preparedness training

UBC offers a variety of Emergency Preparedness training workshops, including specific Active Shooter Preparedness online training. The courses are offered on-line (CWL login required), or in a small group setting. The training will allow you to have the opportunity to learn more about active shooter situations and UBC’s approach to maximizing campus safety.