Organisations “still unprepared” for active shooter incidents suggests Everbridge-EMS study

Organisations 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 such incidents taking place. That’s according to a new study carried out by Everbridge and EMS Solutions.

The Active Shooter Preparedness Research Report reveals that 69% of organisations view an active shooter incident as a potential top threat, with workplace violence also cited as a top threat by 62% of respondents.

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 organisation was, at best, somewhat prepared for an active shooter incident. Even among those who do feel prepared, only 7% said they were very much prepared.

39% don’t have a communications plan in place for active shooter events, while 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%) don’t run 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 incidents’ moving up to fifth place in the Business Continuity Institute’s latest Horizon Scan Report, while ‘acts of terrorism’ moved up to fourth 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,” said Regina Phelps, founder of EMS Solutions. “While an active shooter scenario is every company’s nightmare, few organisations are prepared to effectively manage the situation. Organisations need to move beyond fear into action, take clear steps to prevent an attack from happening and also be prepared if one does occur.”

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

About the Author
Brian Sims BA (Hons) Hon FSyI, Editor, Risk UK (Pro-Activ Publications) Beginning his career in professional journalism at The Builder Group in March 1992, Brian was appointed Editor of Security Management Today in November 2000 having spent eight years in engineering journalism across two titles: Building Services Journal and Light & Lighting. In 2005, Brian received the BSIA Chairman’s Award for Promoting The Security Industry and, a year later, the Skills for Security Special Award for an Outstanding Contribution to the Security Business Sector. In 2008, Brian was The Security Institute’s nomination for the Association of Security Consultants’ highly prestigious Imbert Prize and, in 2013, was a nominated finalist for the Institute's George van Schalkwyk Award. An Honorary Fellow of The Security Institute, Brian serves as a Judge for the BSIA’s Security Personnel of the Year Awards and the Securitas Good Customer Award. Between 2008 and 2014, Brian pioneered the use of digital media across the security sector, including webinars and Audio Shows. Brian’s actively involved in 50-plus security groups on LinkedIn and hosts the popular Risk UK Twitter site. Brian is a frequent speaker on the conference circuit. He has organised and chaired conference programmes for both IFSEC International and ASIS International and has been published in the national media. Brian was appointed Editor of Risk UK at Pro-Activ Publications in July 2014 and as Editor of The Paper (Pro-Activ Publications' dedicated business newspaper for security professionals) in September 2015. Brian was appointed Editor of Risk Xtra at Pro-Activ Publications in May 2018.

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