Emergency Preparedness Resources

Posted on December 20, 2012 In Blog

The leadership of the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America expresses its profound sorrow over the senseless violence perpetrated against innocent children and adults in their Newtown, Connecticut schoolhouse. We offer our deepest sympathy to the families and the community. Alongside our homes, our schools must be places of security for our children in an otherwise uncertain world. Below, you will find several resources and recommendations we strongly advise the leaders and administrators of our communal institutions to review.

Please visit http://www.ou.org/security for additional training materials.

Financial Resources

NSGP: Nonprofit Security Grants Program (NSGP) provides funding support for target hardening and other physical security enhancements and activities to nonprofit organizations that are at high risk of a terrorist attack. In 2012, the total amount of funds allocated to be distributed nationally was $10,000,000. Though Congress has not yet appropriated funds for 2013, we anticipate there being another round of grants available for the coming year.


There are no perfect solutions, but planning and training can mitigate active shooter incidents. The first step is maintaining good access control. Keeping someone who wants to do harm outside is the best way of protecting those inside.

  • Evacuate: Building occupants should evacuate the facility if safe to do so; evacuees should leave behind their belongings, visualize their entire escape route before beginning to move, and avoid using elevators or escalators.
  • Hide: If evacuating the facility is not possible, building occupants should hide in a secure area (preferably a designated shelter location), lock the door, blockade the door with heavy furniture, cover all windows, turn off all lights, silence any electronic devices, lie on the floor, and remain silent.
  • Take Action: If neither evacuating the facility nor seeking shelter is possible, building occupants should attempt to disrupt and/or incapacitate the active shooter by throwing objects, using aggressive force, and yelling.
  • Other considerations?
    • Train building occupants to call 911 as soon as it is safe to do so.
    • Train building occupants on how to respond when law enforcement arrives on scene.
    • Follow all official instructions, remain calm, keep hands empty and visible at all times, and avoid making sudden or alarming movements.

Comprehensive Risk Mitigation and Response Briefings:  

Readiness and Emergency Management for Schools

Department of Homeland Security: How to Respond to an Active Shooter Event

New York Police Department: Recommendations and Analysis for Risk Mitigation

[1] New York Police Department: Recommendations and Analysis for Risk Mitigation