Active Threat/Shooter

An active shooter/threat is an individual or group actively engaged in killing or attempting to kill people in a populated area. Victims are selected at random. Event is unpredictable and evolves quickly. Knowing what to do can save lives.

Threat/Shooting Protocol

ACTIVE THREAT/SHOOTER EVENTS: When an Active Threat/Shooter is in your vicinity, you must be prepared both mentally and physically to deal with the situation.

Staying in concert with the State of New Hampshire Homeland Security and Emergency Management, the following replaces Run- Hide- Fight

AVOID starts with your state of mind

  • Pay attention to your surroundings.
  • Have an exit plan. Know where alternate exits are.   
  • Move away from the source of the threat as quickly as possible. 
  • The more distance and barriers between you and the threat, the better.

DENY when getting away is difficult or maybe impossible

  • Keep distance between you and the source.
  • Create barriers to prevent or slow down a threat from getting to you.                   
  • Turn the lights and computer monitors off.
  • Remain out of sight and quiet by hiding behind large objects and silence your phone

DEFEND because you have the right to protect yourself

  • If you cannot Avoid or Deny be prepared to defend yourself. 
  • Be aggressive and committed to your actions.  
  • Do not fight fairly.
  • Find a weapon (chair, laptop, fire extinguisher).

The first officers to arrive on scene:

  • Will not stop to help the injured. Expect rescue teams to follow initial officers.
  • These rescue teams will treat and remove the injured.
  • Once you have reached a safe location, you likely will be held in that area by law enforcement until the situation is under control and all witnesses have been identified and questioned.
  • Do not leave the area until law enforcement authorities have instructed you to do so.

Video used with permission of the Boston College Police Department


    Suspicious Individuals Protocol

    • Report a suspicious-looking individual or activity to UNH Police at 911. Give your location, name, and reason for calling. Be ready to supply a physical description of the individual: age, weight, hair color and length, clothing, facial hair, and any other distinguishing features. If the individual is in a vehicle, attempt to get the vehicle make, model, and color as well as the license plate number, if possible
    • If you suspect the person is armed or see a weapon, call 911 immediately and report the situation.
    • Do not approach a suspect individual yourself. Contact UNH Police as quickly as possible while monitoring the location of the person if feasible.

    For Additional Information on Active Shooter Protocols:

    Active Shooter Safety Resources — FBI

    Active Shooter Preparedness | Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency CISA

    Attacks in Crowded and Public Spaces |

    Active Shooter (

    active-shooter-twp-update.pdf (

    For more information specific to UNH Protocols regarding Active Shooter:

    Frequently Asked Questions on UNH-Specific Active Shooter Protocols

    Special Thanks to Boston College Office of Emergency Management