The range of demonstrations that sparked in the U.S. May this year to protest incidents of police brutality led the Pentagon to order active-duty members of the military to be on high alert and ready for deployment to American cities mired with non-peaceful protests such as Minneapolis.
This decision by the U.S. Department of Defense came after the peaceful protests turned violent—vandalism, looting, and arson were being committed in some areas with high numbers of demonstrations. The civil unrest caused businesses to shut down and take one to two billion dollars in damages.
How are business organizations coping?
This is where organizations prepare unique responses. They are unique because they face varying threat landscapes, locations, sizes, cultures, etc. An organization’s tactical security plans are made to protect its employees, executives, establishments, and assets during civil unrest.
Here are some ways organizations affected are coping:
1. Employees are made aware of the security situation at hand
Employees and executives are made aware by their organizations about how the current security climate affects them. Instructing them to be vigilant and aware of their surroundings. Keeping human capital safe is providing them with the right information.
Organizations can also advise their employees and executives to do the following:
- Keep out of demonstration areas
- Maintain a low profile
- Keep their personal safety a priority
- Comply with authorities
- Do not appear threatening to authorities
- Avoid areas that are targeted by demonstrators
- Monitor reliable news sources
- Establish a contingency plan with family members
2. Preparing organization-wide responses through the following:
- Business contingency plans
- Crisis management
- Security staff
- Security command center
- Ad hoc contract security
- Technical operations
- Travel security
- Intelligence program
- Threat management
- Workplace safety
- Executive protection
- Site security
- Employee assistance plans
A business contingency plan ensures all plans that shall be executed during security crises are up-to-date and routinely exercised. Making all organization members aware of this plan through drills is how firms prepare themselves for undesirable security situations.
Crisis management ensures that all staff, including executives, know their roles and responsibilities during crises. They are made aware of communication plans that are ready for dire situations.
The organization’s security staff—both proprietary and contract- are aware of policies and procedures related to the security protocols the firm has in place to protect its assets.
Monitoring CCTV coverage, alarms, intercom, and employee safety boils down to the security command center. Members of this department should be trained appropriately to be able to respond effectively.
Ad hoc contract security analyzes intelligence received to define the need to hire external armed and unarmed security when they are needed. Ad hoc solutions provide security response during specific times and are only hired for temporary periods.
Maintain the functionality of security infrastructure—both hardware and software—falls under an organization’s technical operations preparedness. They are used in monitoring security situations, and most of the time, are the only ways to do so.
Travel security ensures that any external threat does not impede the mobilization of medical, safety, and security equipment. This also pertains to the evacuation and lockdown of organizational sites.
Preparing an intelligence program ensures organization of the possible actions everyone involved—the threat, the employees, and the executives—have their identifications appropriately monitored. Firms having a grasp on their internal human resource within their vicinity is a way to prevent escalation.
Threat management ensures that all staff—security and organizational—are with high vigilance and are equipped with the knowledge on how to respond to threats from persons. Threats can be received in person, via telephone, or by email. Instructing individuals how to best handle themselves during situations as such decreases the chances of escalation.
Workplace safety also pertains to an active shooter plan. Giving training, drills, or seminars to all staff concerned is a way to keep them informed on how to best react to direct and imminent threats in their workplace and outside of it.
Executive protection ensures that a firm’s executives are informed accordingly and are mindful of protection protocols. Organizations also opt to use executive security services to ensure the safety of high-profile members.
Site security gives firms insight into the potential breach points and ensures all points and locations are thoroughly assessed to promote individuals’ safety and security on-site. This is also where firms exert security infrastructure improvement efforts.
Keeping communication lines among the organization and its members is a prime procedure in handling dire situations. If a breach occurs with a trespasser declaring threat, all forms of communication will be barred. Having a back-up method can help the staff and members strategize.
Having employee assistance plans ready gives employees a sense of security when there is a scarcity of it. Organizations allocate efforts to assist employees with legal matters and other needs.
Do these procedures guarantee safety?
The efficacy of procedures organizations put in place to protect their employees and assets boils down to the correct execution. Keeping human resources informed of what is supposed to be done during times of crisis helps in these security procedures, which ultimately decreases the amount of danger one or more threats pose.