Page 132 - Security Today, July/August 2018
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Automate Important Steps. Automate the process of initiating calls to first responders. This will save you time and ensure that the scenario where people refrain from calling because they assume some- one else already has, is avoided.
Use Various Methods to Notify. Have multiple methods of com- munication. An audible/paging system could communicate the event while emergency strobes of a designated color are also triggered and text-based communication is sent out. This could serve to mitigate a scenario where a fire alarm system is purposely triggered by a perpe- trator to override a paging system to cut off the communication of the lockdown initiation. The goal is to eliminate a single point of failure and reach as many people as possible with your communication.
Keep it Simple. Avoid creating too many different types of lock- down procedures. Typically, these are assigned to different colors such as “code red,” or “code blue.” Throughout my experience I have observed individuals on a campus becoming confused when too many different lockdown procedures have been introduced. This could delay your reaction to an event or cause an individual to trigger to wrong type of event.
Identify Key Roles and Responsibilities. These will be specific to your campus depending on what resources are available. For example, identifying who is in charge of each classroom, administrative space, facilities locations, etc. Who will be responsible for identifying the event, communicating, and who responds to the different sections of the campus.
Discuss the Procedure. Conduct table-top sessions with your key participants to think through all aspects of the event. Some procedures
sound great in theory but are not adequate when you start to think of the details such as what if you’re outdoors with a class, in a bathroom, during a lunch break etc.
Train Realistically. Ensure that drills take place at appropriate time intervals such as once a semester and that they are as realistic as pos- sible. Avoid telling those on campus of exact dates and times. What typically happens when that information is given, individuals start to prep for the drill 5 to 10 minutes ahead of time and begin closing win- dows and drawing blinds in anticipation of the drill. This decreases the drill’s efficiency.
Stock up. Provide the resources needed inside lockdown areas, should individuals need to stay inside for extended periods of times. This may include water, first aid kits, and even supplies to stop the bleeding. Many deaths have occurred because first responders could not access victims in time during the process of having buildings and rooms safely cleared.
Lockdown procedures are hard to create as you might want to believe that a serious incident, such as an active assailant or bomb threat, will never happen on your campus. You must be prepared for any and all threats. Focus on educating your staff about procedures, train realisti- cally and communicate with leaders, students and
faculty so that if, and when, the time comes, your
campus is able to lockdown as quickly as possible,
minimizing a potentially deadly incident.
Michael Niola is a Senior Project Manager at Guide- post Solutions.
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