Run-Hide-Fight for Schools – An Update on Best Practices

The latest (June 2013) federal “Guide for Developing High Quality School Emergency Operations Plans” specifically identifies Run-Hide-Fight as the standard of care for school response to acts of violence such as an active shooter.

This represents a paradigm shift from the antiquated lockdown-only approach to the option-based Run-Hide-Fight system. This Guide establishes the Run-Hide-Fight option as the standard terminology for describing violent attack response options for education, workplace and healthcare settings.

If your plans and training are not following these guidelines, they are likely not in compliance with the latest standard of care.

The Guide is endorsed by the following agencies:

  • U.S. Department of Education
  • U.S. Department of Homeland Security
  • Federal Emergency Management Agency
  • U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Extracts from the Guide

“There are three basic options: run, hide, or fight. You can run away from the shooter, seek a secure place where you can hide and/or deny the shooter access, or incapacitate the shooter to survive and protect others from harm.” [Page 63]

“If running is not a safe option, hide in as safe a place as possible. Students and staff should be trained to hide in a location where the walls might be thicker and have fewer windows. In addition: Hide along the wall closest to the exit but out of the view from the hallway (allowing for an ambush of the shooter and for possible escape if the shooter enters the room).” [Page 65]

“As the situation develops, it is possible that students and staff will need to use more than one option.” [Page 64]

“While they should follow the plan and any instructions given during an incident, often they will have to rely on their own judgment to decide which option will best protect lives.” [Page 64]

Download the Guide Here 


AlerT – Improving Upon the Concepts of Run-Hide-Fight for Schools

AlerT active shooter defense training is designed specifically for schools.

SafePlans’ AlerT (Assess, lockdown, evade, resist, and Tell) Active Shooter Response program is an element of Intruderology that details and expands upon Run-Hide-Fight implementation in schools within a full-prevention survival curriculum.

By focusing on situational awareness, students, staff and administrators are empowered to first assess the situation and orient to the best option – lockdown, evade, resist. We feel these terms are more applicable to a school environment as their meaning is more dynamic.

For example:

  • We use the term “evade” instead of “Run” because there may be times when an organized evacuation may be more prudent than simply running away.
  • We use the term “lockdown” instead of “Hide” because a lockdown is coordinated and strategic – not passive.
  • We use the term “resist” instead of “Fight” because it applies to both the mentality you must choose when forced to interact with an attacker; and the action you may take against them.

Implementing AlerT in your school is a way to ensure you are in compliance with the current standard of care.


Bring Best Practice Active Shooter Response Training to your School

Don’t risk failing to comply with best practices – contact SafePlans today to learn more about our active shooter response training options.

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See how AlerT improves upon Run-Hide-Fight with Free Resources

Visit the AlerT website – and register for immediate access to free active shooter preparedness resources for schools.

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