Help Your Mayor Respond to a Mass Shooting

When a public mass shooting takes place, it falls on our nation’s mayors to respond. That's why UnitedOnGuns, a nonpartisan initiative of the Public Health Advocacy Institute (PHAI) at Northeastern University School of Law, developed a comprehensive resource for mayors, city managers, and their staff to help them prepare for, respond to, and recover from a public mass shooting. Our goal is to put copies of this resource, the Mass Shooting Protocol & Playbook, into the hands of 100 mayors and city managers by the end of the year.

For each $60 donation, we will ensure your city's mayor -- or another deserving local official -- receives a copy. In addition to sending copies to the mayors that donors have requested by name, we will also send copies to mayors who are actively responding to a mass shooting and to organizations that support cities in crisis, including the American Red Cross, the FBI, and United Way.

About the Mass Shooting Protocol & Playbook

The Mass Shooting Protocol & Playbook is a 200-page book informed by the recommendations and experience of mayors who responded to a mass shooting. The Playbook includes a free-standing Protocol, which provides an overview of a mayor’s role during the first 24-hours after a mass shooting. It highlights key decisions the mayor will need to make and contains links to the Playbook for additional information as needed.

The Playbook is organized in ten topic areas: communications, emergency management, victims and families, law enforcement, donations, school shootings, community partnerships, commemorations, legal considerations, and mental health. Each chapter includes the actions and training that a mayor can take in advance of a mass shooting (the preparation phase); actions a mayor should take during the response phase; and guidance for providing services to victims and families, planning vigils and remembrances, and seeking financial reimbursement during the recovery phase. Throughout the Playbook, key resources (prepared by the CDC, FEMA, the FBI, and other agencies) are highlighted. So are best practice tips shared by the mayors who participated in the research. 

The Playbook also includes case briefs of the six mass shootings researched for the project: the Pulse shooting in Orlando, the Tree of Life Synagogue Shooting in Pittsburgh, the El Paso Walmart Shooting, the Parkland Shooting, the Oregon District Shooting in Dayton, and the San Bernardino Shooting. Each case brief contains key takeaways, which may be useful to mayors for planning and training purposes, as well as to researchers and law enforcement officials.

As Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley has said, "it isn't if, but when, a mass shooting happens in your community." Your generous support to mayors will help them respond to mass shootings and other mass casualty events, and help victims, family members, and communities recover from the trauma. 

About UnitedOnGuns

UnitedOnGuns is an initiative of the Public Health Advocacy Institute (PHAI). We promote public health approaches to reducing gun violence, while recognizing the rights of responsible gun owners. PHAI is a legal research and advocacy center focused on public health law. It is an independent 501(c)(3) organization located at Northeastern University School of Law (NUSL). For more information, visit

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The Public Health Advocacy Institute Inc
Boston, MA
The Public Health Advocacy Institute Inc
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