Active Shooters in Dental Offices: Emergency Planning and Resources

No one action can prevent, stop, or guarantee safety in the event of an active shooter.

The Department of Homeland security has created an Emergency Action Plan guide for Active Shooter Preparedness. Organizations are encouraged to use this guide as a medium to document the initial steps toward creating an Active Shooter preparedness plan.

This guide is not meant to replace your organization’s Emergency Action Plan. Rather, it is a tool that begins the EAP development process.

How to Use This Guide

Step 1 – Review the pre-planning recommendations and suggested training.

Step 2 – Allot at least 2-hours to complete the Active Shooter Emergency Action Plan video.

Step 3 – Watch the EAP video.

Step 4 – Complete Planning Steps 1-6 in the guide. Use the fillable space to document the initial steps required to begin developing the organization’s Emergency Action Plan. Note: The Planning Steps contain information derived from the EAP video and other online resources to help inform the planning process.

Step 5 – Begin drafting the organization’s Active Shooter Emergency Action Plan. Refer to the EAP Guide and resources listed in Pre-Planning Recommendations and Suggested Training as required.

This article is a summary of the EAP for Active Shooter Preparedness created by the Department of Homeland Security. All credit goes to their team.

Need Help?

Contact the DHS Active Shooter Preparedness team at

Pre-Planning Recommendations and Suggested Training

  • Does your organization have an emergency action plan? If so, review your organization’s policy or process for creating the plan. Determine if an active shooter preparedness plan can fit into your organization’s overarching plan which may already include a plan for fire evacuation, severe weather, and bomb threats.
  • Obtain a copy of the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Comprehensive Preparedness Guide (CPG) 101 Developing and Maintaining Emergency Operations Plan” and review the six step planning process.
  • Explore the Department of Homeland Security’s Active Shooter Preparedness Website to better understand the active shooter threat.
  • View the Options for Consideration Video to recognize possible actions to take if confronted with an active shooter scenario.
  • Download and review the Active Shooter Preparedness Workshop Series presentations. This six-module series contains additional information, instructor notes, and videos that supports the Active Shooter Emergency Action Plan process. The Planning Steps (1-6) below will correlate to the Training Modules (1-6) in the presentation slides. Example: Module 2 will assist with completing Planning Step 2a and 2b.

The Active Shooter Emergency Action Plan Video is a virtual learning tool that describes the fundamental concepts of developing an Emergency Action Plan (EAP) for an active shooter scenario. This instructive video guides organizations through important considerations of EAP development utilizing the first-hand perspectives of active shooter survivors, first responders, and other subject matter experts who share their unique insights.

Resources from Done Desk

Dental Patient Selection & Evaluation Team Talk

In this team talk, we discuss the importance of pre-treatment evaluations of your patients as they arrive for your care.

Dental Patient Selection

Medical Emergencies In Dental Settings

Included in this template:

  • Universal Response to Emergencies Protocol
  • Emergency Phone Numbers
  • 9-1-1 Call Procedure
  • Patient Emergency Form
Medical Emergencies In Dental Settings

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