US mass shootings are so common, mayors have a checklist for when one happens

US mass shootings are so common mayors have a checklist for when one happens

US mass shootings are so common mayors have a checklist for when one happens Image: CC/Bbjeter

The incidence of mass shootings in the US are so common that mayors have a checklist of what action to take when one happens.

According to news site NPR on May 27, the organisation UnitedOnGuns has written and distributed a checklist for use by mayors across the US that takes them through the first 24 hours of a mass shooting.

Sarah Peck, Director of UnitedonGuns, part of the Public Health Advocacy Institute at Northeastern University School of Law, says: “The checklist guides mayors and city managers through the first 24 hours after a shooting and outlines the major decisions they will have to make.

“Mayors often don’t realise what their role is until a shooting happens in their community.

“What we’re trying to do is give them the tools they need to understand the magnitude of their role, which starts when the shooting starts and can continue for years.”

In its “Mass Shooting Protocol,” UnitedOnGuns outlines seven focus areas:

  • Communications
  • Emergency operations
  • Victims and the families
  • Donations
  • Vigils
  • VIP visitors and elected officials
  • Mental health

Peck adds that victims and their families should be prioritised over anything else, with families needing reunification areas, where they can be separated from members of the news of the media.

“It needs to be secured so that the press and other people can’t enter.

“And immediate services that are provided include death notifications and helping people get through those first awful hours.”

The organisation also has a “Mass Shooting Playbook“, a more comprehensive guide for mayors that includes insight from others who have gone through this experience, actions that mayors can take before a mass shooting occurs and case briefs from six mass shootings that have taken place in the U.S. since 2015.

Copies of the mass shooting guide are available to download on the UnitedonGuns website.

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Written by

Peter McLaren-Kennedy

Originally from South Africa, Peter is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for the Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at