From Manchester to Las Vegas – The similarity in violent incidents

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This year alone we have seen multiple cases of mass violence in the world; both from lone wolf attackers and terrorism. The timeline that follows only brushes upon the attacks we have seen this year.

January 2017 – A lone gunman opened fire in the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport baggage claim. The attack was random, yet left five dead and six injured. The attacker used a firearm to conduct the attack.

March 2017 – Four pedestrians were killed while 50 were injured during an attack on the Westminster Bridge in London. Weapons used included a vehicle and knife.

May 2017 – A homemade bomb detonated outside the Manchester Arena following an Ariana Grande concert, killing 23 (including the bomber) and injuring more than 500. Investigators connected the attack to Islamic terrorism.

June 2017 – A lone gunman walked into a small, family-owned business in Florida and opened fire on employees, killing four employees before himself. The gunman was a former FIAMMA employee who exhibited behaviors of concern years before the shooting.

October 2017 – The deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history left more than 40 dead and 500 injured when a lone gunman opened fire on concert-goers in Las Vegas. The attacker fired more than 1,000 rounds from a 32nd floor hotel room.

Related: 5 Crisis Communication Questions Answered in the Aftermath of the Vegas Shooting

November 2017 – A gunman opened fire on churchgoers on Sunday, November 5, 2017 in Texas. The 26-year-old assailant killed 26 while injuring 20. This attack occurred four weeks after the Las Vegas shooting.

What do these incidents have in common? All ended with lives being changed. Parents lost children, children lost parents, employee and student desks became empty, and friends said goodbye to friends. It’s not about how the act was conducted, the motive behind the attack, or where the attack took place – what matters is the fact that lives were lost.

There are millions of episodes of violence annually in the United States and throughout the world. It’s not that there are millions too many incidents but one too many. Any incident is one too many; let’s stop the one. – Jim Satterfield, Firestorm President/CEO and Co-Founder

We see the headlines. We read the articles. What are we doing as organizations to protect our people and prevent episodes of violence? The worst disaster to strike is the one that hits your organization. But unfortunately, many employers exhibit disaster denial, “It won’t happen here”; even after world-headline events.

“We all have to exercise a certain amount of denial. We have to believe that nothing is going to go wrong and nothing is going to happen to us,” stated Novume President and Firestorm Co-Founder, Harry Rhulen to Business Insurance Magazine. “We’ve become desensitized because we see this kind of thing every day on the news, and as long as it didn’t happen to us, as long as it’s not our crisis, it really becomes part of the general media buzz that we’ve become immune to.”

Today’s headlines can be your organization’s crisis tomorrow. The faces of your people can be the next images featured on CNN, FOX, CNBC and additional media outlets. Your crisis story can be the top headline tomorrow.

What can you do? Act now – before a crisis strikes. The best way to prevent and prepare for a crisis is by practicing and testing. Put your crisis plan to the test with Firestorm senior leadership and nationally recognized crisis experts on December 7th from 2-4 p.m. ET. Terrorism or Lone Wolf – Does it Matter is the final Firestorm Virtual Exercise of 2017.

In this virtual, controlled environment, our panelists will walk attendees through a virtual crisis simulation that will test crisis plan deficiencies and weak points. Gather your teams around a conference table and activate your plan in real-time.


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