Practicing how to lockdown may come in handy in case an emergency where a lockdown is required ever happens at White Sands Missile Range.
According to the FEMA training website, practicing the lockdown procedure can help improve your confidence and operating skills during an actual emergency,
It is important to understand how and why lockdown procedures work in order to ensure your safety during an actual emergency. Director of Plans, Training, Mobilization and Security Gerry Veara said it may not always be possible to completely lockdown a building, but it is possible to lockdown in a particular room of a building. The lockdown procedure is different for every building because each building has a different structure.
“We can’t assume that the shooter will just stay in one place,” Veara said. “They don’t just stay in one place. If you’ve locked down you’ve effectively kept the shooter out.”
An emergency action plan should be prepared for every individual organization and should cover several different situations, including if the shooter is located in the building. Veara said it is difficult to determine what the best thing to do is until an emergency actually occurs. In some situations it may be better to run, and in some situations it may be better to hide.
“How you lock down depends on the building, who’s in there, and where the shooter is,” Veara said. “Everybody’s got to be able to evaluate and think quickly. I can’t tell you how to put out the fire until the fire starts.”
HOW DO I LOCKDOWN?
A successful emergency action plan for a lockdown involves designating a room with no windows that can be barricaded as a lockdown room, and developing a system to account for personnel. Once barricaded, employees should not open the door until they are notified, either through the mass notification system or by law enforcement that the area is safe.
A lockdown procedure should only be conducted once employees are notified of an active shooter through the mass notification system.
RUN, HIDE, FIGHT
If the shooter is in the same building as you, the procedures can vary depending on the location of the shooter. If it is safe to do so, individuals are asked to run to the most secure room to lock themselves in. According to Department of Homeland Security training guidance, individuals should run to the safest location with their hands up to avoid being mistaken as the suspect.
Once in a safe place the individual or group of individuals should barricade themselves by locking the door. If a room is not available, individuals are asked to take cover either behind a thick desk, or anything that could provide shielding.
If met face to face with the shooter, the best thing to do is fight. Make any attempt to incapacitate the shooter, either by throwing objects at him or her or physically attacking.
Community members will have a chance to practice their skills during a functional exercise scheduled for Oct. 23 and a full-scale exercise scheduled for Nov. 19. Organizations are asked to prepare an emergency action plan. Templates for emergency action plans have gone out through e-mail. If an individual has not obtained information to develop their lockdown procedures, please contact McDonald Jacob at 678-3674.