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US businesses see active shooters in the workplace as a top threat

Everbridge and Emergency Management and Safety (EMS) Solutions have issued the findings of recently completed research into organizations’ safety communications plans and their ability to manage a potential active shooter situation. The research surveyed security and emergency management leaders at 888 organizations, with a focus on companies with greater than 500 employees.

Respondents were overwhelmingly concerned about violent acts taking place at their company or organization. Despite that worry, a majority of respondents also said that they were not properly prepared for an active shooter situation, highlighting communication to affected employees and individuals as one of the major issues.

“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.”

Key findings of the research include:

  • 69 percent of organizations view an active shooter incident as a potential top threat. Workplace violence also was cited as a top threat by 62 percent.
  • An overwhelming 79 percent replied that their organizations were not fully prepared for an active shooter incident.
  • Communicating with and confirming the safety of those in an impacted building were seen as the biggest challenges during an active shooter situation by 71 percent of organizations. Despite that, 39 percent still said they didn’t have a communications plan in place.
  • 61 percent do not run any active shooter preparedness drills at all.
  • 73 percent said that employees or students are willing to exchange some aspects of privacy for enhanced security.

“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.”

EMS Solutions and Everbridge conducted the research in July 2016.

Read the survey report.


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