Posted 02/18/2014 by Ron Rabena
In emergency situations, a quality security program is a vital resource. Weather-related emergencies have been frequent and treacherous this season, even in parts of the country where winter storms are rare. It is important to have contingency plans, regardless of location, to ensure the safety of employees, the continuation of operations and a consistent security presence.
- Advance Preparations. Have a solid plan in place before an emergency situation arises and make sure that all employees and security personnel have access to and have reviewed the plan. Table top exercises can help ensure that plans are practical and everyone is on the same page.
- Safety First. Are your employees safe? Are the security officers safe? Do you have ways to communicate with your teams? Are heat, food, water, a telephone, and restrooms available if there is extended use of your facility? Is proper weather gear in place, including slip-resistant footwear? Can outdoor patrols or vehicle use be limited or eliminated while still ensuring security needs are met?
- Flexibility and Management Support. What are your security needs in relation to the emergency? Should coverage be reduced or are extended shifts needed? Every situation and location is unique – emergency plans should be as well. Response procedures should be followed through on and reinforced by management. Develop schedules, call trees and email alerts to ensure communication is efficient.
- Depth of Personnel Resources. Even if the site is closed for employees or the public, many organizations still need a security presence on site. Are patrols needed to check for leaks or storm damage? If so, sufficient security staffing is needed. Security teams should make arrangements in advance to ensure staff is available.
- Situational Readiness. Does your security partner have the emergency response experience and resources to ensure service delivery despite the conditions? Will they arrange for local hotels so security officers don’t have to travel? Can they rent vans to transport officers if public transportation is shut down? Are they prepared with emergency supplies including food, water and cots? Checklists should be utilized to ensure nothing is overlooked.
Planning for emergencies, including winter storms, is a collaborative effort that requires rigorous preparations and leadership support. Your security team plays a critical role in helping you weather the storm safely.
For more information, view our recorded webinar, Security’s Role in Disaster Planning
About the Author
Ron Rabena is a Division President for AlliedBarton Security Services. Additionally, he is on the board of directors for the Police Athletic League of Philadelphia (PAL), the Philadelphia Crime Commission, the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce (GPCC), the FBI Community Partnership Program and the Packer Park Civic Association.
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2 years 155 days ago
Mr. Rabena's outline and discussion of Security's Role in Emergency Planning is right on track. Planning, discussion, possible table top and walk through exercises are important. With the weather pattern's changing for at least this year it is apparent that we as managers must use forward thinking and planning to be sure our officers, client and company are supported.
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