An active intruder threat involves a situation where an individual or individuals intend to cause serious harm to others.

The intruder(s)’ usual intention is to continue until stopped by police and/or suicide. These incidents are often over in a very short period of time — 10 to 15 minutes.

You will need to take responsibility for your personal safety and security. Try to stay calm and assume a survival mindset.

If there is an active intruder on campus remember:


  • If you can get out, get out.
  • If you cannot leave safely, find a place to hide.
  • If you have no other choice, fight back with aggression.

The information below provides more detail about Run-Hide-Fight and can help you make informed choices to ensure your personal safety. The following video, courtesy of the University of Alberta, also provides information that will help you in the unlikely event you ever find yourself in an active intruder situation.

If you can get out, get out. Know where the building exits are, and run in the opposite direction of gunfire or activity.

If you cannot leave safely, find a place to hide.

  • Lock and/or barricade the door if possible.
  • Turn off lights.
  • Stay away from all windows and remain in a position not readily visible through a window or door.
  • Call 911 if safe to do so and only if you have specific information regarding the threat or immediate concern for your safety or the safety of others.
  • Silence your phone and any other devices from rings and vibrations and remain very quiet. Do not make any non-essential calls.
  • Do not post information on social media that:
    • could reveal your hiding place
    • indicates where first responders are located
    • could compromise other people’s safety by contributing to feelings of panic or by spreading misinformation
  • Conceal or cover yourself behind desks, file cabinets, or other large pieces of furniture. Stay low to the floor if possible.
  • Comfort others who may be panicking and assist injured if necessary.
  • Do not answer the door once it is locked or allow anyone to talk their way inside.
  • Make a plan in case the intruder(s) gains access to the room.
  • Wait for police to arrive. Do not enter hallways, stairways, etc., until instructed to do so. Upon arrival of the police, obey their instructions, including showing your hands when asked to do so.
  • Remember it may be several hours before you can be safely evacuated.
  • If possible, monitor the Mount Allison website and your MtA Alerts for updates. Media reports during an emergency may be unreliable.

If neither of the above is possible:

  • Act with aggression.
  • Attempt to incapacitate the attacker.
  • Improvise weapons (scissors, fire extinguishers, etc.)

What to expect from first responders
When first responders arrive, remember they are there to stop the threat, not to treat the injured or assist victims. As police officers are approaching, ensure you keep your hands visible and follow their instructions. For their own safety, they must initially consider all individuals as potential threats. Once the environment is secured by police, other emergency responders will be allowed in to treat the injured.

Fire alarm during an active intruder threat
Should the fire alarm go off:

  • Evacuate only if you see smoke or fire.
  • If no smoke or fire is visible, remain in place until given further direction by first responders or through the MtA Alert system.

Notifications during an active intruder incident
If there is an active intruder on campus, Mount Allison will put out information about the threat as quickly as possible through the MtA Alert system. It is possible, however, that you will hear about an active intruder threat before an alert can be issued. If you suspect there is a threat, take action, whether or not you have received an alert.