Preparing Your Business for an Active Shooter Incident

Preparing Your Business for an Active Shooter Incident

February 18, 2020

According to the FBI, there were over 250 active shooter incidents between 2000-2017. In 2019, there were 417 mass shootings. Here in Texas, let us not forget El Paso, Odessa-Midland, and West Freeway Church of Christ. All of these tragic incidents happened recently and are too close to home. 

The threat of these types of incidents leave us living in a world where frequent lockdowns are commonplace as a precaution. For example, last month at Lone Star College the campus went on full lockdown bringing back the scary memories of the 2013 incident.

The harsh reality of our world is there has been a sharp spike in active shooter incidents in schools, in workplaces, and in public places. As a business owner, protecting your staff and your business from the liability it is important to have a plan and proper coverage.

Active Shooter Insurance is also known as Active Assailant Coverage or Workplace Violence Insurance. Workplace violence insurance has been around for awhile. More recently, it has evolved from workplace violence insurance into active shooter insurance.

Texas businesses need to know more about how to protect themselves and their employees from this type of modern-day risk.

So let’s take a closer look at what active shooter insurance (or workplace violence insurance) covers, some quick steps your business can take to have a plan, and next steps for making sure your, your employees, and your business are protected.

In this article, we will cover:

What does active shooter insurance cover?

Active shooter insurance coverage is separate from your general business liability insurance. It is a stand-alone policy that supplements your business insurance coverage that you might already have in place.

An active shooter policy can cover the cost of property damage, loss of business income, medical expenses, and funeral cost for victims of an active shooter incident at your business.

Coverage limits and premiums vary based on your location, number of employees and visitors as well as other factors. Additional exclusions and limitations apply. 

We recommend speaking with a trained commercial insurance advisor to discuss your business needs for this type of active shooter insurance coverage. The team of advisors at Pasadena Insurance Agency can give you more information and a price quote. Contact us today.

Creating an Emergency Action Plan

In addition to having proper insurance coverage, it is also a good idea to have an Emergency Action Plan, or an EAP. An EAP should be created with input from several stakeholders, including HR, your training department (if one exists), facility owners or operators, your property manager, and local emergency responders.

An effective EAP includes the following:

  • A preferred method for reporting fires and other emergencies
  • An evacuation policy and procedure
  • Emergency escape procedures and route assignments (e.g., floor plans or safe areas)
  • Contact information for, and responsibilities of, individuals to be contacted under the EAP
  • Information concerning local area hospitals (e.g., the name, telephone number and distance from your location)
  • An emergency notification system to alert various parties of an emergency including the following:
    •  Individuals at remote locations within premises
    •  Local law enforcement
    •  Local area hospitals

Preparing Your Staff for an Active Shooter Situation

To best prepare your staff for an active shooter situation, create an emergency action plan

(EAP) and conduct training exercises. Together, the EAP and training exercises will prepare your staff to effectively respond and help minimize loss of life.

Steps you can take to improve preparedness:

  • Ensure your facility has at least two evacuation routes.
  • Post evacuation routes in conspicuous locations throughout your facility.
  • Include local law enforcement and first responders during training exercises.
  • Encourage law enforcement, emergency responders, SWAT teams, K-9 teams and bomb squads to train for an active shooter scenario at your location.
  • Have a list of all essential emergency phone numbers
    • Emergency services
    • Local emergency information line
    • Local police department
    • Local fire department
    • Local hospital
    • Local FBI field office
    • Facility security

For a full step-by-step guide on how to handle an active shooter incident at your business, download our free ebook. We cover everything you and your staff need to know before, during, and after an event like this.

Next Steps for Making Sure Your Business is Protected

Now, we understand that the reality of an active shooter incident can be scary for you and your employees. Preparedness is the first step to ensuring everyone has peace of mind in the event something terrible like this happens.

Other steps you should be taking at your business include:

  • Regular reviews of your EAP & staff training
  • Attentiveness to employee behavior and dynamics
  • Proper business insurance and active assailant coverage for you, your business, and your employees

At Pasadena Insurance Agency, we help local business owners implement this coverage as part of a holistic approach to business risk management.

If you'd like to know more about the value of this coverage for your business, please give us a call at 713-869-6991.