Organizations must no longer think, “This won’t happen to us.”
Recent events remind us that we have an obligation, to our staff, membership, guests and attendees, to have a program in place that will mitigate risks, knowing we are vulnerable to certain crises and that we must be prepared for them.
In light of the tragic terror attacks in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday, at places of worship and hotels that left over 300 people dead and over 500 others injured, all public places around the world should reflect on how they should mitigate similar risks. Here is a checklist:
- Comprehensive Security Program: “Soft targets,” such as places of worship and hotels, are inherently at risk of a terrorist attack, regardless of size, faith, membership, brand affiliation or attendees. These organizations must determine their best approach to security. Security programs must be developed by experts in operations, administration and threat evaluation.
- Preparedness Training: Preparation can’t be one-size-fits all. It is important to develop training exercises for all levels of the organization: Observation and awareness training for the operations staff, emergency training for those assigned as first responders and crisis training for onsite managers and corporate staff.
- Government and Law Enforcement Liaison: No matter your organizational structure, liaising with appropriate government and law enforcement officials is critical to understanding threats, ensuring open lines of communication, benefiting from the best practices of other similar facilities and possibly receiving support during training. Organizations must assign a qualified member of their leadership teams to evaluate information received from government and law enforcement sources and make decisions to reduce risks.
Violent events occur every day around the globe. It’s how you evaluate the risks, prepare your facility and staff, implement appropriate measures and train at all levels that will ensure your readiness in the event of a security breach.
Paul Frederick is a principal of Integrated Crisis Management Solutions, an organization composed of security operatives and communications professionals offering risk assessments, streamlined emergency protocols, management training, customer/media relations and recovery programs.