24/7 Software Blog

How to Prepare for Incidents That Are a Case Of ‘When, Not If.’

by 24/7 Software / August 4, 2016

Lonely young man on a rock cliff island surrounded by storm waves.pngThe calls are coming in.

“Fight in section 201.” “There has been a car theft in parking lot GG.” “A thunderstorm is approaching at 15 MPH.” “We have…”

You turn off your radio for a moment. You stare at the mirror knowing you only have thirty seconds before your operations coordinator sends out the bat signal because you haven’t responded to your radio calls.

Cupping your hands under the faucet, you let the water run over them. You slowly splash your face to make sure this isn’t a nightmare.

“Yep, this is real,” you utter to yourself. You put on your glasses, turn on the radio, and rush out of the restroom.

While your team is panicking over the radio, you open the restroom door to the thousands of guests moving throughout your property.

Your goal is to keep smiles on their faces and to ensure they never find out anything is ever wrong. It’s a big goal, and not always achievable for your team.

More calls are coming, but they aren’t incident calls. It’s your team. You can hear the panic in their voices. A few variations of “We weren’t prepared for this” make their way over the radio.

You head to the command center. “There’s no way to prepare for all of these incidents,” you tell yourself.

But, we’re here to tell you there is.

You’ll need to employ Proactive Operations because incidents occurring on your property is an instance of when, not if.

London Increases Security Presence Following Attacks

Bianca Britton’s recent CNN article “London deploys 600 extra police following terror attacks across Europe” discusses London’s initiatives to prepare for what is coming.

According to the article, “London will increase its presence of armed police following the recent terror attacks across Europe, authorities announced.”

Britton’s article continues that, “As part of a new anti-terrorism operation, 600 additional armed officers will be present in highly visible locations across the UK capital to protect against the threat of attacks.”

This article struck a nerve with us because preparation is crucial. Not only is it crucial, but it's also required. Britton’s article supplements our argument for Proactive Operations incorporated amongst properties.

Yes, London is deploying 600 extra police in the wake of the recent terrorist attacks. It’s a large-scale effort for terrorism defense. However, the need for proactive measures is relative.

Whether you have a small amphitheater, an airport or are running the Maracanã Stadium for the Rio 2016 Olympics’ opening ceremony tomorrow, you’ve got to be prepared for anything.

‘When, not if’ is always the case for property operations. That’s why Proactive Operations must be too.

Expect the Unexpected (and Be Ready for It)

We’re sure that you’ve read our popular article on the introduction of Proactive Operations “Proactive Operations: How to Use Strategy, Infrastructure & Technology.” If not, click here to check it out.

You live in the real world. So, rather than breaking down the fundamentals of Proactive Operations like we often do, we’re going to give you a realistic scenario of how to be ready for incidents when they occur – not if they occur.

Anything is possible, which is why you need to be ready for anything, even the unexpected, right? It’s what London is doing and you should too.

Let’s say you’re faced with a suspicious person. This scenario could pan out several different ways. But, this is all the information we have at this moment.

They could be:

  • An active shooter
  • Initiating a bomb threat
  • A harmless mildly intoxicated guest

You’re don’t know how this will turn out. But, proactive operations are ready for anything.

Strategy Helps You Transition From Your Current Operation State

Identify the key areas of the ACDA Principle™ that’ll apply to your property. It’s how you should always start your strategy assessment.

  • Awareness: do you regularly have enough resources to contain a small issue or large-scale terrorist threat?
  • Communication: Whether faced with a wet spill or an active shooter incident, do you have streamlined communication capabilities?
  • Documentation: Documenting every detail of every incident is necessary for protecting your property from liability – are you capturing every detail? Is the documentation complete and legible?
  • Analysis: Are you able to review each day to optimize for the future.

Scrutinizing your operation to understand your strengths and weaknesses provides you with the foundation for moving forward.

Even if the suspicious person is only a harmless guest – the next guest might not be.

Today, Lay the Cornerstone for Your Infrastructure

Your suspicious person makes their way into the building through an engineering corridor. You don’t know it yet, but they have a small explosive device.

Your infrastructure must be established for this example to end in your favor.

  • Organize your Front-of-House command center to be your operating location, and include a place for guest service, police, fire rescue, and event security.
  • Set up a separate Back-of-House command center, which includes engineering, IT, housekeeping, and all of the other behind the scenes departments

Separating these vital units forces efficient communication. A single dispatcher within each command center limits – if not eliminates – the noise produced by many issues and incidents occurring.

Your on-duty senior engineer identifies the suspicious person placing the explosive device. They quickly radio to the command center. It’s time to notify need-to-know personnel.

This moment is where the outcome can turn in your favor. But, only if you deploy the latest operations technology.

Preparation Is Only as Effective as the Technology Used to Execute

A chain of events occurs from the moment your senior engineer witnesses the incident. How it all plays out depends on whether you employ every aspect of Proactive Operations.

We’ve addressed strategy and infrastructure, but in the 21st-century safety and security all boils down to technology.

The start of execution is not marked by minutes or hours; seconds make the difference. You must start your protocols-to-handle in a blink of an eye.

Let’s not waste any more time.

Jerry, your senior engineer, uses his incident management mobile app to report the incident in seconds. He uses the device to capture a quick picture of the suspect and the explosive.

He reports the images and details of the situation simultaneously. Then, he begins executing his protocols for a bomb scenario.

Your dispatcher received the entry in the incident management system. Without delay, Lisa in the command center dispatches the incident using the incident management system’s short form.

Remember, seconds count!

All need-to-know personnel is notified of this high-priority incident via text, email, and their incident management mobile apps.

  • Administration
  • Supervisors
  • Police
  • Fire Rescue
  • Event Security
  • Risk Management
  • City Personnel

You name it. Your technology lets you set up these predetermined groups. Because, when an incident occurs you won’t have time to think. You must be proactive.

Execution without a hitch – and most importantly – the event carries on through its entirety.

Over to You

It doesn’t matter how you look at it. Preparation is preparation, whether your property is large or small. Proactive Operations is a practice the world’s greatest properties live by daily.

“When?” a question always asked during the strategy discussions of a proactive operation. Now, the only question we have left is: are you prepared for the unexpected?

Ready for Proactive Operations?

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