Over the years we’ve written a handful of white papers on risk assessment and security. Check them out by clicking on the links below.
Here at Invictus Consulting, we are all about emergency planning. Putting in the work before an emergency is critical. According to FEMA, “the number, type, and magnitude of decisions and problems that must be addressed during an emergency are a direct outgrowth of decisions that were (or weren’t) make during the planning process.”
It’s worth a detailed look into this statement.
- Decision-makers – The statement above from FEMA assumes that the decision-makers have been identified and trained during the planning process. But it’s worth re-iterating that your organization must identify and train the decision-makers before an emergency. We have come across countless organizations that have decision-making duties written into their emergency action plans that have never actually told the people who are responsible that they’re the responsible decision-makers! On paper it all looks great, but in an actual emergency no one knows who is in charge, no one knows the guiding principles for making decisions, and chaos ensues. Your emergency response team needs to be identified and trained!
- The number of decisions and problems – Think about how many decisions need to be made during an emergency. Obviously the type of emergency dictates some of this, but all emergencies require decisions, and if some of the decisions can be made beforehand, that will ease the burden of decision-makers during the emergency. Also, the more decisions that can be made before an emergency will put decision-makers in a better position to deal with additional (often unforeseen) problems that arise.
- The type of decisions and problems – Obviously the types of decisions and problems vary with the types of emergencies. A tornado barreling towards a school will require different decisions and pose different problems than a breached levee threatening to flood an entire city. This is why it is so critical for each organization to plan ahead. Tabletop exercises are one way to help decision-makers understand the types of decisions and problems they might face during an emergency. A written emergency action playbook for each type of emergency is another way to help decision-makers with their tasks during an emergency. Training is crucial here, as is a clearly defined hierarchy of who makes what decisions.
- The magnitude of decisions and problems – Training and planning ahead help prepare decision-maker understand the magnitude of their task and the magnitude of problems they may face during an emergency. Training for various emergency scenarios is essential, since the magnitude of problems that arise from closing a school early due to an impending snow storm are vastly different from those that arise from closing a school early due to an active shooter. Think about the magnitude of decisions involved in evacuation for two organizations, one with dozens of employees housed in a single building and one with thousands of employees housed in numerous multiple-story buildings on an extensive campus. The magnitude of decisions for something like an evacuation are simply not the same, and this is why organization-specific planning is fundamental to the safety of your people.
Today we thought we’d share a very brief list of the security blogs we regularly check here at Invictus Consulting.
FEMA blog – we are all about preparedness here at Invictus Consulting, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (which is a division of the Department of Homeland Security) is our go-to resource
Homeland Security blog – topics of interest to Invictus Consulting include critical infrastructure, disasters and preparedness, terrorism, and cybersecurity
Department of Labor blog – this is where OSHA issues are posted, since OSHA is a division of the Department of Labor and doesn’t have its own dedicated blog
Security Today blog – some of us at Invictus Consulting are gear heads, and we love researching cameras, card readers, and other types of physical security hardware; Security Today is a great resource for this
Security Management magazine – Security Management is a publication of ASIS (American Society for Industrial Security) and one of the industry leaders
Campus Safety magazine – we work with a lot of schools here at Invictus Consulting, and Campus Safety is a great resource for all things security related in education
In today’s digital and connected age, more and more agencies and organizations are going social with Facebook, Twitter, and other social media accounts.
FEMA’s EMI is a great resource for individuals to go through self-paced courses designed to give both people with emergency management responsibilities and the general public training on:
- response and recovery
- emergency management
Check out their course offerings and follow them on social media to stay updated about how you can educate yourself about emergency management and preparedness.
We talk a lot about active shooters here on the Invictus Consulting blog. Of course having an Emergency Operations Plan is critical for the safety of your people. Drilling your plan is just as critical.
But it’s important to understand that there should be multiple layers of security before a shooter even gets to the building.
If your facility has these five layers of security, the possibility of an active shooter making it through the doors decreases, since these layers of security would stop of slow him down before he got inside.
- Layer 1 – fences that are in good repair combined with gates that are locked will slow down a perpetrator
- Layer 2 – cameras that allow security personnel to view the perimeter of the property as well as view exterior doors would allow them to see a perpetrator before they’re inside
- Layer 3 – door access control (either locks or electronic access control) would also slow down a perpetrator, since they would not have unhindered access via an open and unlocked door
- Layer 4 – intruder or burglar alarm systems would alert security personnel that an unauthorized individual is attempting to gain access
- Layer 5 – employees that are well trained on visitor management policies and procedures can go a long way in keeping unauthorized individuals out of the building
Of course no security measure is perfect. Simply installing fences, cameras, card readers, and burglar alarms in no way guarantees a perfectly secure work environment. A culture of security is of the greatest importance in security; technology is not your crutch.