Many of us can still remember the shock and horror that went through our bodies when we heard about the mass shooting at Columbine High School in Colorado in 1999. While the Columbine attack was almost 20 years ago, the mass shooting at the Sandy school in Connecticut, which killed 20 6- and 7-year-old students and six adults, just passed its five-year mark in December.
The amount of people killed in mass shooter attacks has escalated since 2012. Two of the deadliest mass shootings happened in 2017. Over the last decade, there have been 475 people killed and 882 people wounded in America due to mass shootings. Although there is no way for us to know when these attacks are coming, or how we can prevent them from happening altogether, we can help organizations and schools ensure the safety of their employees, students, and visitors.
All of these incidents and statistics prove that all organizations need to invest in an emergency notification system. Moreover, legally, employers must now address the hazard of an aggressive intruder or active shooter who means to do harm to people in work settings. With today’s technology, these systems are much more than just sending a text or email; they’re a completely connected system that is able to send a text and email notification while at the exact time can place a message on your website, social media, digital signage across campus, etc. Many are able to trigger your PA system and blue lights. This can all be triggered in unison, with the launch of a specified alert.
Not only is it important to incorporate protective measures into your organization’s emergency plan, but it’s just as important to take what we’ve learned from past incidents and learn from it. Campus Safety Magazine’s Executive Editor, Robin Hattersley-Gray, wrote "12 Lessons to Remember from Active Shooter Attacks" where she urges campuses to consider promising practices that were learned over the years from mass shooter attacks.