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Crisis Management: What Security Owners Need To Know

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Crisis Management: What Security Owners Need To Know

Things like pandemics with quarantines, terror attacks, and serious natural disasters happen unexpectedly and bring panic with them. A quick and effective response from critical industries (i.e. healthcare, transportation, law enforcement) will help people bounce back on their feet.

Physical security is one of those critical industries. Keeping a level head and having a plan is the key to keeping the rest of the world safe and moving forward.

We’ve identified four things that every security team should do to be prepared for any crisis.

  1. Be prepared in advance
  2. Have an emergency response plan
  3. Help and serve the community
  4. Think about company structure

1. Be Prepared

Assignment Host identifies the three questions you should ask about how you can prepare for crisis management. You should ask these questions before a crisis happens in the world so you can prepare effectively for different situations and put your clients at ease when the time comes.

What is the Threat Posed to Your Client?

You will need to think about how a crisis situation will affect every client you serve. In the case of COVID-19, many grocery stores are dealing with a rapid increase in customers. Many of them are on edge, which can quickly lead to violence. Also, with fewer people on the streets and less traffic to stores, theft and robbery are more likely by bad actors.

But, every property will have different issue types that will depend on what kind of crisis is happening in the first place. By thinking about these needs, you will be better prepared to serve your client when the time comes and can more easily create an emergency response plan.

What is the element of surprise?

Your clients will be depending on you to use your experience to be ready for anything. Having the mindset of “everything that can go wrong will go wrong” will help your response be the best it can be.

How quickly will you have to take decisive action?

Knowing how quickly you will need to snap into action after a crisis happens can help you figure out how and when you might need to hire more officers. It can also help you design your officer training to have them be prepared for anything at any time.

In the case of a tornado or earthquake, response times need to be as fast as possible. In something like a hurricane or a pandemic, you might have slightly more time to make decisions.

2. Have an Emergency Response Plan

Things can change quickly in a crisis situation. Physical security operations are expected to be able to respond to those real-time changes. Let’s look at three processes in your operation that will need to have emergency protocols.

Emergency Security Response

Visitor Management

In times of crisis, you have to expect changes in traffic to properties you manage, especially if you run security for any critical infrastructure property types. These changes in traffic can bring an increased threat to the property.

In the case of a global pandemic like COVID-19, having specific screening questions - “do you have any symptoms? Have you been tested? Etc. - and sanitary products at the entry gate for visitors can help you keep healthy people from being exposed.

If you work for a more industrial property type, you might want to consider taking a close look at different types of sign-in systems you could implement or improve on to make sure you always know who is coming in and out of the property.

Access Control Systems

Having strict lock and unlock schedules or alarm open and close schedules is an essential part of keeping buildings on a property secure. They are even more important in times of crisis.

You will need to consider having different schedules for locks and alarms that can be applied to different crisis scenarios. Your alarm needs will change between a response to a natural disaster or something more people-oriented like the aftermath of a terror attack.

You will also want to think about doing an audit of any privileged access lists a property has. Having more restricted access to critical areas can help reduce traffic in times of chaos, allowing you to do your job more effectively and keep people safe.

Remote Security Services

Resources can become limited in a crisis. Being able to provide the same level of service as normal even when you’re working with new challenges is critical to still being able to serve your clients’ needs.

During something like a quarantine, consider how you can run more mobile patrols to cover ground faster while you still limit human interaction.

3. Help & Serve the Community

There are certain kinds of businesses, like security services, that help people feel safe even when everything in the world is going according to plan. When a crisis comes, people depend on those businesses even more as a source of safety and security.

Through all of the chaos and panic, you have a chance to help people feel like everything is going to be alright, because it will.

It’s important for any security company to be as involved as they can be in their communities, so you should do that no matter what state the world is in. But, you can also use crisis situations as an opportunity to get even more involved in your community. In the long run, it can help you make a name for yourself and maybe even secure more contracts.

More importantly than making money, you can make a positive difference in your community and give people a positive idea about what security does.

4. Company Structure

Every security company should pay a lot of attention to how their operation is structured. Having clear leadership and reporting systems helps keep the company efficient and effective.

Especially in times of crisis, having a good team structure in place will help your whole team be prepared for anything. With a solid management team, you can have order in your operation even when there’s chaos in the streets.

But keep in mind that a time of crisis can change how you serve your clients. If necessary, supervisors in your company should be ready to get out into the field at any time if that’s what the situation calls for.

During this specific crisis, we hope that these tips are useful and give you some direction while you try to figure out how to respond. To recap, here are all the tips one more time:

  1. Be prepared in advance
  2. Have an emergency response plan
  3. Help and serve the community
  4. Think about company structure
Thinkcurity Articles
Thinkcurity Articles
Thinkcurity is revolutionizing education in the physical security industry through engaging content and thought leadership in every aspect of running a successful security operation.

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