SAN ANTONIO – Shock waves are rolling through the country 24-hours after authorities say a married couple killed 14 people and injured 21 at an office complex in San Bernardino, California. Now, a San Antonio business director is glad his employees have been practicing active shooter drills.
The Alamo Community Group nonprofit office is on the second floor of a large office building. After multiple mass shootings across the country employees have started to practice the frightening scenario in their own office.
On Thursday they showed KSAT what they've been practicing.
If an intruder were to enter, the the receptionist alerts everyone by yelling "Code 1" through the speaker. She then pulls the main door shut and locks it. The employees leave their desks and split up into two safe rooms with doors that lock situated at each end of the hall.
Then they use the window as an escape route by using a small tool called a glass punch out. When pressed into a window it shatters, allowing employees to push out the glass and jump out of the building during a shooting.
Company director Michael Shackelford says it's hard to predict what could happen but the best thing to do is be prepared.
"Not only prepare, but practice monthly or quarterly. That way if something does occur, whether it be a shooting or disgruntled employee, you know how to respond appropriately and in a timely fashion," Shackelford said.
Their office has been practicing quarterly for the last year.
"We're in an office environment where we have several different tenants and it has high traffic, it's right off the highway so we've identified this could be a potential problem," Shackelford said.
He hopes the practice scenario never becomes reality, but knows that having a plan will help keep focus during a true emergency.
San Antonio Police Chief William McManus said every office building should have a plan similar to this in place so all employees know what to do and how to escape.
This is the Department of Homeland Security's Emergency Preparedness Plan:
- Be aware of your environment and any possible danger.
- Take note of the two nearest exits in any facility you visit.
- If you are in an office, stay there and secure the door.
- If you are in a hallway, get into a room and secure the door.
- As a last resort, attempt to take the active shooter down. When the shooter is at close range and you cannot flee, your chance of survival is much greater if you try to incapacitate him/her.