Four Barriers to Physical Security

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Organizations must include in planning, the risk of a targeted violence event occurring on or around their facilities. The venue of an attack may be chosen based upon the impact it will have on behaviors, or the ease in finding multiple targets in a generally confined area.

No public area or property is immune to the risk of these attacks. Organizations should ensure they take all prudent and available precautions to not only prevent an incident from occurring on the property, but be able to respond appropriately should an event occur.

If asked, many organizations would admit that they should take additional steps in preparation for a targeted violence or active shooter attack, but many suffer from common organizational barriers to preparation. These barriers include cost, aesthetics, convenience and belief.

Cost – Preparation, including increased security features, professional planning, and most importantly training, are investments that are often deferred to address what seem to be more critical expenditures.

Aesthetics – When done poorly, safety and security can damage the appearance of a site. Security features can sometimes cause people to feel less safe rather than safer when they appear excessive or overly intrusive.

Convenience – When security features or procedures compete with operations, operations win most of the time. Staff and visitors will figure out ways to circumvent security and safety when they severely affect convenience, access, and operations.

Belief – Organizations will not prepare for events they do not believe can happen to them; we call this disaster denial. Many organizations have a false sense of security that emergencies always occur somewhere else and don’t truly believe one could happen to them. This one barrier is by far the largest and most difficult to overcome.

Overcoming these four barriers and creating an actionable crisis plan takes time and effort. But both must be done to ensure the safety of your organization and people.

The purpose of preparation is not to instill paranoia, in fact when done properly, preparation should reduce the fear of a crisis event and provide an organization with the confidence. Resiliency and preparedness are brand attributes.

You may not see vulnerabilities that compromise the safety of your employees, students and staff, but an external party will identify weaknesses. It is recommended that every organization consider seeking professional assistance when assessing their emergency plans and security.

In designing plans, the right security consulting team becomes an integral member of the design team assisting the client, architect, and construction management entities to ensure the proper decisions are made regarding safety and security features and design.

This team assists the client by serving as the conduit through which all safety and security related decisions are made, thus maximizing schedule and budgetary efficiency and inserting much needed expertise into the process.

The right team also assists the client in developing emergency plans and protocols that match the new or renovated facility, features, and capabilities.

This planning should include procedures for Evacuation, Shelter in Place, Lock Out, Lock Down and Reunification.

The Firestorm Security Solutions team is comprised of highly trained, former US Secret Service Agents empowered to assist all staff, design customized plans and respond to critical incidents for organizations. Our plans include hazard specific protocols for more than 20 different emergencies or critical incidents, and exceed any requirements for planning based on State Law or Licensing.Contact Firestorm for a no fee assessment

The first step to any plan however, is a vulnerability assessment to establish a comprehensive baseline analysis and assessment risks and threats. As a team working with you, we must better understand your organization, and for you to understand key vulnerabilities.

We will also carefully review any crisis management plans that may have been previously developed. This will enable us to identify any gaps in your current continuity and disaster recovery plans, so that we can recommend specific process improvements and enhancements for command and control, operations, emergency response, employee procedures, communication and facility upgrades.

How May We Help You? Let us know and schedule a free assessment today.


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