Active threat

An active threat is an emergency event in which an individual with a weapon poses an immediate danger to safety on campus. Active threats may use firearms or other weapons to cause harm.

Active threat situations are unpredictable and evolve quickly. Active threats will usually continue to move throughout a building or area until stopped by police, suicide or other intervention.

For information on what to do during an active threat please watch this very useful video.

How to respond when an active threat is in the vicinity

Violent situations are unpredictable. Trust your instincts. Quickly determine the best way to protect yourself and call 911 or Campus Security (250-721-7599) for help when it is safe to do so. Follow the instructions from the police and Campus Security.

Review these options and quickly determine the best way to protect yourself

Get out

  • Leave the area only if you know the location of the threat.
  • When evacuating, keep your hands visible and follow police instructions.
  • Have an escape route and plan in mind. Leave your belongings behind if necessary.


  • Hide in an area out of view.
  • Barricade doorways and entrances using any means available. Lock doors if possible.
  • Close the windows/door blinds.
  • Stay behind solid objects away from the door and turn off the lights.
  • Minimize noise from your location. Turn off your cell phone ringer, alarms and vibration.


  • Fight as a last resort and only when your life is in imminent danger.
  • Attempt to incapacitate the threat.
  • Act with physical aggression and throw items at the threat or use other means to stop the threat.

How to respond when the police arrive on the scene

How to react:

  • Remain calm and follow instructions from the police.
  • Immediately raise your hands and spread fingers. Keep hands visible at all times.
  • Avoid making quick movements toward officers, such as attempting to hold on to them for safety.
  • Avoid pointing, screaming or yelling.
  • Do not stop to ask officers for help or direction when evacuating.
  • Proceed in the direction from which officers are entering the building.

Information to provide to the police or 911 operator:

  • Location of the active threat.
  • Number of people, if more than one.
  • Physical description of the person(s).
  • Number and type of weapons held by person(s).
  • Number of potential victims at the location.