Active Shooter/Weapon

This is an emergency preparedness video. This video guides people through the actions they would need to take if confronted by an active shooter. This video depicts fictional events on the Yale campus. Some content may be disturbing. It is intended as a learning tool.

Taking Action

Surviving a situation that involves an active shooter or someone with a weapon depends on your taking action. Below are some key ideas to help you develop one and know what to do if you are ever confronted with a dangerous and life-threatening situation.


  • Be aware of your surroundings!
  • Notice the location of exits. Whether you are in a familiar building or visiting a building on campus, always look for multiple ways out.
  • Shelter in place. Think of where you would take cover or hide if you could not leave the building and how you would keep an assailant out of your area.
  • Review and update your contact information for Yale ALERT at
  • Save the Yale ALERT number (203-432-5830) on your phone and assign it a special ringtone.
  • Think of what you might need (food, water, and medication) if you have to stay in one location for an extended period of time. In a situation like an active shooter, the University may call for a campus-wide lockdown that may last many hours.


Situations happen quickly, and you must think fast about what you need to do to get yourself and others to safety.

  • Location: Where are you in relation to the incident? Are you where the incident is taking place, near it, outside, across campus? Your location affects your choices.
  • Is it safe to evacuate?
  • Where would I shelter in place?
  • If my life depended on it, would I take aggressive action against the shooter?
  • What can I use to defend myself?


  1. Evacuate; or shelter in place; or, as a last resort, take aggressive action against the shooter.
  2. Call 911 when it is safe to do so.
  3. If indoors: stay where you are if you are being asked to shelter in place; find a safe location, lock the doors, and stay away from windows.
  4. If outdoors: move away from the affected area. Yale buildings will likely be on lockdown. If you have ID card access, you can get inside, or you can find an open business or go to your car.
  5. If across campus from the emergency: stay away from the affected area and follow the instructions provided to you through Yale ALERT.
  6. Trust your judgment.


The possession or use of explosive, incendiary materials or weapons (guns, some knives, martial arts equipment, etc.) on University property by students, faculty, staff, and visitors is prohibited except for Yale Police and other sworn law enforcement officers. View the entire policy.

To report the presence of a weapon or other harmful devices on campus:
  • Dial 911, or
  • CALL Yale Police at 203-432-4400, or
  • Press the red button on a Yale Blue Phone

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