02 Mar

Terrorism: are you prepared?

Terrorism: are you prepared?

As we write, the current terrorism threat level in the UK is SUBSTANTIAL. Which means the Metropolitan Police believe an attack somewhere in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland is likely.

The intelligence behind this threat level isn’t available to the general public. But it is good practice for businesses to take measures to ensure they are prepared for an attack at any time.

The impact of a terrorist incident on a business can take many forms. It could be physical and operational, with damage or even destruction of its property. It could also be emotional by causing distress to its employees. Either way, the leaders of a business have a duty to their workforce and customers to ensure operations can continue as before.

Preparation and planning are key
Carrying out scenario planning is vital to you being able to respond effectively should the worst happen. Scenario planning works by looking at a business from every angle to gain an understanding of the possible impacts and then outlining how it would respond. Key departments to involve in your scenario planning are security and reception, facilities and HR.

Take a specific scenario and then work together with department heads to determine what decisions would need to be made, who would make them, and who would carry out any actions. You should decide roles and responsibilities and what resources would be required in delivering your emergency response.

Divide your response into three key plans:
1. Crisis Management

This is where you formalise the decisions you have made in your scenario planning. It should include a strategy for decision-making and action-planning, as well as documenting plans for emergency communications – both internally to staff and externally to those outside the business who need to be made aware.

2. Emergency Response
Once the alarm has been raised, the wellbeing of your staff must take immediate priority. Plans for evacuation or staying inside a building if appropriate must be clear and take into account how this information would be communicated.

3. Business Continuity
The main question to answer is how you would get your business up and running as soon as possible in the aftermath of an incident. Create procedures for alternative working and the outsourcing of certain tasks if that is a possible need.

Take care of your people
A business is nothing without its people and you would need to follow up good communication with support to help your people process and recover from an incident.

Being proactive by identifying now where counselling for people affected by a major incident is available is key to providing effective support when it is needed. Some organisations that provide counselling also provide training that could help your team support each other.

Run drills regularly
Good planning can be made even better by bringing it to life through realistic drills. Drills put your team’s decision-making, action-planning and communications planning to the test and help you to identify any possible weaknesses to improve upon. Engage as many key people like receptionists, security guard and telephone operatives as possible to make the drill as realistic as possible for those on the frontline.

A terrorist attack could put your business in the media spotlight, so it’s important that you, or a nominated spokesperson, are prepared to talk to news reporters. A media drill will help you to gain the skills to speak with confidence if interviewed.

So, in conclusion, putting time into planning and running scenario drills will help you be sure you have done everything in your power to respond effectively.

This article is just a brief introduction to what you can do to prepare your company for a terrorist attack. If there is anything more we at Triton Security can do to help, then please get in touch today.

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