How to Respond to an Active Aggressor Situation

Finding yourself in an active aggressor situation can cause extreme panic and disorientation. But if you know what to do ahead of time, your chances of surviving this type of emergency situation are greatly increased.

The phrase Run Hide Fight® is a registered trademark of the City of Houston.

Watch the 2015 Surviving an Active Shooter video.

tile graphic representing run, a stick man running


  • Have an escape route and plan in mind
  • Leave your belongings behind
  • Keep your hands visible
tile graphic representing hide, a man crawling into a small building space


  • Your second option should be to hide
  • Do not huddle together because it makes one easy target
  • Lock and barricade doors and shut off lights


  • Fighting is a last resort to be used only when your life is in imminent danger
  • Attempt to incapacitate the active shooter
  • Find an object to use as a weapon such as a fire extinguisher or chair

Information You Should Provide to the 9-1-1 Operator

  • Clarify if you are on The Ohio State University campus
  • Location of the active shooter
  • Number of shooters, if more than one
  • Physical description of shooter(s)
  • Number and type of weapons held by the shooter(s)
  • Number of potential victims at the location

How to React When Law Enforcement Arrives

  • Remain calm, and follow officers’ instructions
  • Immediately raise 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 and/or yelling
  • Do not stop to ask officers for help or direction when evacuating, just proceed in the direction from which officers are entering the premises

Safety Messaging Toolkit

The safety of our campus community is our number one priority. Please see the Safety Messaging Toolkit for information and resources that you may share with others.