Preventing Mass Attacks, Saving Lives
The Mass Attacks Defense Toolkit can help reduce casualties from mass shootings and other violent attacksStart now
Funded by the National Institute of Justice
RAND Corporation researchers created this toolkit to help reduce the likelihood of mass shootings and other public attacks, and reduce the casualties of completed attacks. Whatever your role or level of experience, this toolkit can make you a better defender against mass attacks.
After studying 600 mass attack events and plots, interviewing dozens of experts, and reviewing hundreds of references, the team identified the Mass Attacks Defense Chain, a series of defenses that work together to reduce the probability of mass attacks and their impacts.
A Toolkit for Everyone
- Law enforcement
- Fire and Emergency Medical Services responders
- School officials
- Agency and community service providers
- Building and venue security personnel
- Community leaders
"Heroes are made because they prepare for an incident. People never rise to the occasion; they fall back on their training."
–Police interview participant
In this toolkit, researchers describe the most important tips they found to help reduce the likelihood and casualties of mass attacks. They also point to key guidance and resources to provide more-detailed information.
Understanding the Mass Attacks Defense Chain
These steps are presented linearly, but in practice, they can be highly iterative and occur in parallel. For example, following up on a tip will require rounds of assessment and actions by agency partners. Furthermore, prevention should occur in parallel with improving venue security and planning and training for attack response.Learn about the defense chain
Reducing the Likelihood of Mass Attacks
There are three top takeaways on what community partners—and the public—can do to defend against mass attacks.
Almost two-thirds of foiled plots in our data were foiled because of public reporting.
An interagency team led by a single point of contact designated for each case should lead the necessary follow-up.
Advance planning and training are required of all agencies and partners who will jointly respond to mass attacks.
This website is funded through a grant from the National Institute of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice. Neither the U.S. Department of Justice nor any of its components operate, control, are responsible for, or necessarily endorse, this website (including, without limitation, its content, technical infrastructure, and policies, and any services or tools provided).