One year ago today, on September 16, 2013, gunman Aaron Alexis entered Washington Navy Yard’s Building 197 and opened fire. Over the course of an hour, Alexis roamed the halls of NAVSEA Building 197, randomly shooting anyone in his path. Before he was killed by an officer, Alexis had fatally shot twelve people and wounded three others.
The attack was the second deadliest U.S. military base shooting in history.
The terror and confusion surrounding the events of that morning were overwhelming, not only to those at the Navy Yard, but to all who were watching the story unfold.
Unfortunately, stories like this are becoming prevalent in this day and age.
In emergencies, the protection of human life is the number one priority.
Because mass shootings are typically unpredictable and evolve quickly, the best way to prepare for these events is to have an emergency response plan in place.
Emergency communication technology is a critical component of an emergency response plan. In an active shooter situation, actions such as pulling a fire alarm may actually put employees in the path of the shooter. Instead, multimodal alerts with specific instructions and details are preferred.
In an active shooter situation, an alert sent via a ringing phone could actually identify an employee’s hiding location and increase the odds of being targeted. However, features such as desktop alerting and SMS alerts are minimally intrusive while providing vital information so employees are informed and know where to take cover.
Other communication features like Get Word Back should be implemented so that you are able to account for employees during and after the event. With this feature, employees are able to provide whereabouts and status. When so many things are unknown, this feature provides critical knowledge to managers regarding the safety of their personnel.
Active shooter events like the crisis at the Navy Yard one year ago today are devastating. Our thoughts are always with those who were affected by this horrific event.
Implementing an emergency communication component to your organization’s disaster recovery plan could help your organization’s workers survive a tragic situation.