Mitigating Risk In Times of Civil Unrest
Updated: Oct 28
2020 has proven to be a year of extreme turmoil in the U.S. A global pandemic, mass unemployment, extreme political divisions and social unrest create a toxic environment ripe for explosive violence and crime. As we near what is certain to be an emotionally charged and socially divisive election, security professionals everywhere are preparing their clients for the risks that lie ahead. As a business owner or property manager, you must always be aware of these risks and employ strategies for managing them. Here are some ways you can be prepared and protected:
Intelligence Gathering and Analysis
Risk mitigation is about understanding your risks and implementing strategies to reduce exposure. The more reliably sourced information you can gather, the better prepared and protected you can be. Social media is an invaluable tool for intelligence gathering in the modern age. Connect with your local law enforcement and emergency response teams on social media. These pages are updated often with alerts for the public, information about subjects at large, and other safety information which may prove critical to safeguarding your property and personnel. Many of the groups involved in protests and riots are also connecting and coordinating through social media. Connect with these groups where you can, stay apprised of their activities and their mindset. This will help you determine your level of risk when a protest event is scheduled in your area.
For larger facilities, consider investing in a program that delivers real-time threat assessment. Companies such as AlertMedia deliver alerts to your phone or email instantly when a particular threat occurs in your area. Consider having a professional security consultant in to perform an on-site threat assessment for your facility. A professional assessment will identify physical and procedural vulnerabilities and recommend the best practices to address them.
Prioritize Employee Protection
Be aware of potential risks to your personnel and be proactive in minimizing those risks. Develop an Emergency Preparedness Plan with your staff and be sure everyone is thoroughly familiar with it. This should include developing ways for your employees to work remotely or mapping out alternative routes to work avoiding city centers or areas where protests are most likely to occur. Anticipate travel disruptions, including road and bridge closures for scheduled events. Also, be sure your plan includes building evacuation procedures in case of fire and clear procedures for your employees in case of an active shooter.
Protect Your Facilities
Assess your facility for vulnerabilities. Test intrusion detection and fire protection systems to ensure full functionality. Assess windows and doors and other points of entry for vulnerabilities, such as broken or weak locks. Assess your parking lot and other exterior areas and consider adding lighting to any unusually dark or secluded places. Assess any surveillance capabilities you have and consider adding active surveillance measures, such as surveillance monitoring. Studies show adding surveillance or a uniformed security presence decreases your risk of victimization by up to 60%.
Communication is key
The most important step you can take to mitigate risk is to communicate. In an emergency scenario, communication with emergency responders and with your personnel is vital to the protection of life and property. As soon as you know of a possible event, begin communicating with local authorities and with your staff. Put your Emergency Preparedness Plan into action early and communicate with all parties as frequently as you can. A solid plan and good communication will ensure your business and the people in it will have the best chance possible at avoiding serious damage or loss of life.
National Protective Services is here to help you.
National Protective Services, Inc. is a family owned private security firm with more than 40 years’ experience serving the DC Metro area. We specialize in both physical and electronic security, with an emphasis on exceptional customer service. We don’t just serve clients; we forge relationships that last for years. This is why many of our clients today have been with NPS for more than a decade. We offer a range of services, tailored to fit the needs of each customer individually. Contact us today for a FREE on-site consultation and see how NPS can ser