Violent threats are extremely rare, but they do require specific actions and reactions.

Overview

Depending on whether the violent incident is occurring off campus or on campus, you may be instructed to hold and secure or lockdown, respectively.

Each situation involves a series of measures that are intended to minimize risk to students and staff until civil authorities are able to take control of the situation.

And if you are directly faced with an active attacker, remember to RUN, HIDE or, as a last resort, DEFEND!

If you are in immediate danger...

If an active attacker is in your immediate vicinity, be ready to run, hide, or, if your life is in imminent danger, defend yourself until you can get away.

If you do not have a uOttawa login to view the video, the steps for Run-Hide-Defend are summarized below. 

Watch the Run-Hide-Defend video
girl hiding in the dark

Get away from the danger as quickly as you can and report the incident to Protection Services or to 911 once you’re safe.

  • If you can’t leave the area, look for a place where you can hide (lockdown).
  • Secure the area as best you can by locking and barricading the door.
  • Take cover under or behind furniture and ensure cell phones and other sources of sound are turned off or silenced.
  • Remain aware of your surroundings and the situation. If an opportunity arises to escape, do so!
  • Prepare for the situation to escalate and to defend yourself as a last resort; look around for items you can use as a weapon; plan with any others in the space with you. There is strength in numbers!

If your life is in imminent danger and you cannot escape or hide, then - as a last resort - fight back violently. Do not stop until you’re certain you can get away from the danger, then do so!

Lockdown

If a situation involving a violent attacker armed with a deadly weapon is taking place on campus, University community members will be instructed to lockdown.

A lockdown involves a series of measures that are intended to minimize risk to students and staff until civil authorities are able to take control of the situation.

During a lockdown, you must remain inside the building you’re in when you were advised of the incident. If you’re outside, seek safety by entering the nearest building and stay inside until further notice. Find a place to hide and remain quiet. Make a plan and prepare to protect or defend yourself by any means.

If an active attacker armed with a deadly weapon is in your immediate vicinity, remember from the section above to RUN-HIDE-DEFEND.

 

Emergencies that require you to lockdown include violent armed situations occurring on campus:

  • Active attacker (on campus)

Know your area! Get acquainted with your nearest escape routes, and keep an eye out for hiding places in and around the areas you frequent most.

Hold and secure

If a situation involving a violent attacker armed with a deadly weapon is taking place off campus, is on-going and has the potential to move onto campus, University community members may be instructed to hold and secure.

Hold and secure involves a series of measures intended to minimize risk to you and others until authorities are able to take control of the situation going on nearby.

During a ‘hold and secure’ alert, you must remain inside the building you’re in when you were advised of the incident. If you’re outside, seek safety by entering the nearest building and stay inside until further notice. Locate an area where it would be acceptable to lockdown in case the situation escalates and moves onto campus.

    Emergencies that require you to 'hold and secure' include violent situations occurring off campus but nearby:

    • Active attacker (off campus)
    • Terrorist attack (off campus)

    Know your area! Get acquainted with your nearest escape routes, and keep an eye out for hiding places in and around the places you frequent most.

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    Will the doors to buildings be locked during a violent threat alert?

    The majority of building entrances have glass doors. A locked entrance will not stop an armed attacker from entering a building. A locked door will, however, stop an innocent person from being able to get to safety or find a place to hide. We need to ensure all University community members have the best chance to protect themselves. It is vital that you focus on what YOU can control in your immediate environment. Lock yourself down in your space.