I noticed a couple of news stories coming out of the recent heat wave and the fires in Colorado that I think have particular relevance to our industry, and I'd like your thoughts about them:
1. In Northern Virginia, 911 services were knocked out for 48 hours. And, of course, this is related to the broader issue of the extensive power outages. In fact another story calls damage to some power grids "catastrophic".
2. In Colorado, looters are exploiting the evacuations.
Here is the setup for the discussion when I think about these and other aspects of these and other recent disasters:
1. The United States has an enormous private security industry that represents a huge reserve of resources. Has the security industry been recognized as such by the national or local disaster/emergency agencies, and then effectively engaged and incorporated into their plans and programs? I say no - not by a long shot.
2. State and local government services - and their capacity to respond to extraordinary demand - have been severely reduced. This is particularly true in the area of law enforcement. Have these governmental units engaged the security community to plan for the possible need of security services during disasters and emergencies? In a few cases, yes. But for the most part, again, I say no - not by a long shot.
3. Have we ourselves, whether as private security companies or proprietary departments, prepared our own organizations not merely to survive, but to step up operations, when disasters strike? I'm afraid that in many cases the answer is the same: No - not by a long shot.
During disasters like these, one of the top priorities is security to protect both lives and assets - which are MUCH more vulnerable than at any other time. And yet the Catch-22 here is that one of the first things that gets compromised in disasters is security operations. Access systems go down. Alarm systems go down or go haywire. No video on the monitors. Officers can't (or, it pains me to say, sometimes won't) report for duty. Our own communication systems fail. And all of this at the very time that the need for what we do could not be greater. We don't prepare ourselves, we don't prepare our clients, and we can't serve our clients properly.
I don't have the answers or expect you to have them either. But I do know three things:
1. We, as an industry and as a community of professionals, need very much to begin the discussion - both among ourselves, and with our counterparts in government. We do have a model of sorts that might help as a starting point, and we find that in healthcare. Hospitals and healthcare professionals have engaged these questions, namely addressing internal issues to keep their own operations upright during disasters, and responding to the increased needs from the community.
2. When you look at the healthcare model(s) one of the first things you notice is the element of COOPERATION among entities that, in normal times, are COMPETITORS.
3. We can do better. Much, much better.
Think about #1, and then think very hard about #2 - and please share the thoughts and ideas that occur to you. What can we do? What MUST we do?
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Thread: Two News Stories of Interest
07-03-2012, 05:38 AM #1
Two News Stories of Interest
Last edited by SecTrainer; 07-03-2012 at 05:57 AM.We live in a world where a pizza gets to your house quicker than the police. - Anonymous
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