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Staying Prepared All Year Long

Posted 10/06/2017 by Katy Samaha

National Preparedness Month

The theme for the 2017 National Preparedness Month, observed in September, was “Disasters Don’t Plan Ahead. You Can.” Though the official observance has passed, it shouldn’t deter businesses from adopting plans to be prepared all year long.

Whether natural or man-made, emergencies can wreak havoc and result in loss of lives and property. However, not all emergencies become disasters—the difference is in how effectively people respond. For civilians, the key is advanced preparation. Taking time to make plans for your family and prepare emergency supplies will allow you to act quickly during an emergency.

For security professionals, emergency preparedness training is critical for high profile events and localized situations including civil disturbances, medical emergencies, hazardous material release and power failures. A well-developed and rehearsed plan executed by trained security personnel can minimize the impact of an emergency. A good plan includes prevention, detection, notification, evacuation and relocation procedures.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) advises preparation for a variety of natural disasters including weather events like major hurricanes, landslides, wildfires, tornadoes, extreme heat and cold as well as man-made issues, including cybersecurity and terrorism. Every fall people across the globe are encouraged to participate in an International ShakeOut Day of Action as a drill on preparing for earthquake safety. You can learn more at

Advance Planning

Whether you’re operating a commercial office building, manufacturing facility or college campus, it is important to have an emergency plan in place to help raise awareness and prepare for these events, and strengthen the response capability of communities at risk. No one wants to think about a future emergency, but without appropriate preparedness planning, your next emergency could truly turn into a disaster. To reduce the impact of emergencies, it is vital to prepare with real-world plans designed to aid in response and recovery.

Plans should be reviewed regularly to ensure information is accurate and revisions are made to address changes in personnel, processes or facility infrastructures. Take necessary safety measures for your region, and ensure that appropriate emergency/safety kits are updated and the contents reviewed regularly. Companies should determine how they will maintain business continuity. Do you have a way of alerting your employees of an impending emergency? How will you account for them following a crisis? Where will you set up your command center to address the emergency?


Security professional training needs to be comprehensive, available in many formats and must target the most pressing issues that include emergency preparedness. With the proper training, security officers can secure a dangerous area, evacuate buildings and coordinate emergency response. Additionally, security officers play a key role in preventing emergencies by monitoring building access, conducting patrols and ensuring that safety and security procedures are followed. But before any of those can occur, the proper training, specific to a particular site, is needed.

Civilians on Front Lines

Expanded emergency training for security officers has led to improved relationships with law enforcement, government agencies and the general public. But security officers and law enforcement personnel aren’t the only individuals who can benefit from emergency preparedness training.

Civilians can take a proactive approach to emergency preparedness so they too can take an active role during an emergency. In some communities, people can voluntarily sign up for their (CERT) Community Emergency Response Training, spearheaded by the local municipality.

Readily available Automatic External Defibrillators and a general public who is well-versed in such equipment and accustomed to seeing them in public is just one example of our nation’s acceptance of the individual’s role in emergency response. A prepared individual is better equipped to evacuate, help others and do whatever is needed in an emergency.

Be proactive and plan ahead to #besafe. Visit or ASIS International to learn more. You may also join us for a free webinar focusing on emergency preparedness. It will be held Oct. 19 at 1 p.m. EST.

Kathy Samaha, Client Relations ManagerAbout the author
Katy Samaha is Client Relations Manager at Allied Universal. She is a longtime member of IREM OC.

1 Comment(s)

  • William Clayton
    351 days ago
    Excellent information which reinforces why training and preparedness is vitally important in disaster relief efforts.


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