Active Shooter – Are You Prepared?
Wednesday, November 4, 2020
by: Teresa Henning, Sr. Property Manager, American Assets Trust

Section: Trends and Tips

You see it on the news – active shooter events occurring internationally, nationally and regionally; you’ve even trained in anticipation of such an event at your property. But are you, your team and tenants really prepared?  San Diego Police Department (SDPD) Sgt. Josh DaFoe, who oversees the Mass Threat Unit in San Diego, spoke with the BOMA San Diego membership at the October membership meeting. Following are key points that Sgt. DaFoe shared to assist us before, during and after the alert sounds.
  • Preparation
  1. Mass Notification Systems – how are you notifying your staff and tenants? Consider using a paging system, text, phone or email. Have prepared announcements. Practice!
  2. Employee training – what to look out for in individuals that enter your facility.
  3. Calling 911 – be specific with location addresses & leave an open line if you can’t speak.
  4. Reevaluate your emergency exit strategy – restructure who goes where for check-in locations.
  5. Inviting Law Enforcement to your property – walk it, know it.
  6. Have a GO-BAG ready for first responders: include several copies of your emergency evacuation maps.
  7. If feasible, have address numbers stenciled on your rooftops – ideal for multi-asset campuses.
  8. Run-Hide-Fight!
  • When SDPD arrives – The primary focus is STOP THE SHOOTER! The secondary focus is aiding victims with the assistance of the San Diego Fire Department and the Rescue Task Force. Ensure security teams and camera systems/rooms are available to emergency responders. Make sure your security crew is trained as well.
  • 8 Signs of Terrorism
  1. Surveillance – who is that individual and why are they taking pictures of our property?
  2. Elicitation – who are you, and why are you asking about building hours, etc.
  3. Testing Security – tailgating – don’t let anyone into a locked building that you don’t know.
  4. Funding
  5. Acquiring Supplies – be aware of what chemicals you have on hand that may disappear.
  6. Impersonation – fake PD, EMT, etc.
  7. Rehearsal
  8. Deployment
  • Recommended Tools – SDLECC - submit a SAR (Suspicious Activity Report) - file a report (via desktop or mobile app) even if you’re not sure that it’s important. Stop the Bleed = bleeding control kits located in public spaces – - train and save lives!
The value of preparedness cannot be understated, and is fully appreciated by our first responders. As commercial real estate professionals, it’s critical that we have rehearsed emergency response plans in place. Our staff, leadership and tenants are counting on it.