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July 31, 2012 -
Today's tip of the day covers five things all facility or property managers should do to prepare their facilities for a major event, like the NATO Summit or the Republican or Democratic National Conventions.
The first and most important strategy is to communicate early and often with tenants and occupants. Set up an email list or newsletter to update them, and update them daily (or more) during the event itself. The rumor mill getting out of hand is one of the worst things that can happen during a big event. By making sure tenants and occupants are informed with accurate and useful information, facility and property managers are taking a huge step to prepare for a big security event.
Secondly, especially if your building is iconic or in close proximity to the event, contact local law enforcement long before the event, and invite them to tour the building. Get them familiar with the layout and show them spaces that might make for good command posts if something happens at the event, and the building needs to be commandeered as a control center.
Third, if your building has an open lobby, make sure to implement a plan so that all visitors are identified. Hire extra security and institute a visitor management policy. One strategy property managers often use during big security events is to institute night and weekend visitor policies during the days of event - again, ensuring that everyone in the building is accounted for.
Fourth, make sure your risk assessment and scenario planning are up to date and accurate. Make sure all occupants and management are familiar with evacuation and shelter-in-place plans. Also, experts suggest having alternate evacuation plans, as well - if, for instance, the traditional muster spot is occupied with media tents, or something similar.
Finally, simply have plans in place for business continuity if the worst comes to fruition. Hire a disaster recovery firm. Make sure there is plenty of food, toiletries and sleeping arrangements in the building, in the event that it’s not safe or possible for occupants to leave the building for an extended period of time. Check back-up generators and air intakes to make sure they’re secure and operational.
Remember, as the saying goes, failing to plan is planning to fail.