University of Northwestern Ohio

Active Attacker Response Plan

Run if you can, hide if you can't, fight as a last resort.

Students, Employees, and Visitors are advised to familiarize themselves with the University of Northwestern Ohio’s Active Attacker Response Plan as preparation for the possibility of encountering a potentially life-threatening situation anywhere.

The response advise below is based upon the Run, Hide, Fight™ model developed by the City of Houston, UNOH’s Active Attacker Response Plan offers the same three action steps if confronted with an active assailant, making it easy to remember and act upon in an emergency: run if you can, hide if you can’t, and fight as a last resort.

All of these steps are address annually with faculty and staff. Students are presented with this information in their First Year Experience coursework upon enrolling in the university. The steps are posted here to serve as a reminder that can be accessed at any time. The content is not intended to create fear, rather to promote preparedness. These steps can be followed during any life-threatening situation.

The University’s Active Attacker Response Plan is based upon three action steps: run, hide and fight. The concept is endorsed at local, state and federal levels, including the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and FBI. The plan is ultimately designed to provide people with options that may help them survive an attack in the first crucial moments before police arrive on the scene.

Please note that the run, hide and fight action steps may not always occur in this order, so memorizing them all as possible options regardless of order is a key to quick response.


  • Have an escape route and plan in mind.
  • Make sure it is safe to leave the area. Use your eyes and ears to determine if it is safe to run.
  • Leave your belongings behind.
  • Keep your hands visible.
  • Once in a safe place, call 911 and give detailed information about what is happening. Don’t assume someone else has already called the police.


  • If unable to run from the danger, your second option should be to hide.
  • Find a place that’s out of the attacker’s sight and remain quiet.
  • Do not huddle together, because it creates an easier target.
  • Lock and barricade doors with whatever is available, such as desks, chairs, or door wedges. Shut off lights.


  • Fighting is a last resort to be used only when your life is in imminent danger. (However, sometimes fighting may be the first and only option.)
  • Find an object to use as a weapon, such as a fire extinguisher, backpack, book or chair.
  • Attempt to incapacitate the attacker; commit to your actions; work with others to disable the assailant.

A report of an active shooter or attacker would result in rapid response by law enforcement to the scene and communication to the community by email, text, telephone and social media using the University’s Racer Alerts system. Initial alert messages would quickly be followed by critical information and regular updates.

For information on how to set up and configure Racer Alerts visit: