Business continuity plans are not just for fires, floods, and hackers. In fact, Statistics from the FBI and the Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training Center indicates that between 2000 and 2008 there were on average, seven active shooter events per year. By 2016 the number almost tripled to 19 and for the period 2017/2018, 30 active shooter events were recorded for 2017 alone. The latter resulted in 729 people either wounded or killed.
In this article we look at the five key areas your business continuity plan should cover when responding to an active shooter incident:
America’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) estimates that workplace violence affects more than 2 million American workers each year. Statistics from the Bureau of Labor Statistics show that there 500 workplace homicides occurred, and 18 000 people suffered non-fatal injuries during 2016. A further 823 people died as a result of workplace violence in 2017. Even more alarming is the fact that OSHA believes many more cases go unreported.
Petrus Human, founder of Plan4Continuity confirms that: “One of the main challenges with being faced with an unexpected incident like an active shooter event is what to do in the critical seconds during or shortly after the incident happened. You have to help those who are struck with panic to remain calm while remaining in control of the situation and following the correct protocol as planned. This is one of the key values of Plan4Continuity. It is like the glue that holds everything together, assisting the responsible parties to take full control and remain in control of the situation which could ultimately save 100s of lives.”
1. Assess your risks and determine your vulnerabilities
Understanding your vulnerabilities is the first step to protecting your site and your employees. Similar to a workplace risk assessment, an active shooter risk analysis is a vital tool to determine what gaps currently exist and mitigate them going forward.
2. Train your employees
It is crucial to conduct awareness training and prepare your employees for a potential event. Your business continuity plan should include steps for tabletop drills, tactical drills, and practise sessions to ensure the effectiveness of your plan and improve controls where necessary.
3. Conduct ongoing program audits
Don’t become complacent. As with every other process your business continuity plan can cover, it is important to continuously audit your plan for gaps, new or emerging threats, company changes and to incorporate “lessons learned” if your organization has been a victim of an active shooter event in the past.
4. Activate your plan before a crisis
Successful business continuity plans are actioned before a crisis. A mass notification system is the best way to manage communications in a high-stakes situation.
5. Make provision for post-incident issues
Make provision in your business continuity plan for a scenario where your facility must close for a period of time after an active shooter incident, for example, to allow for law enforcement and crime scene processes to be completed.
Violence preparation must form part of every business's continuity plan. Plan4Continuity is a dynamic, intelligent cloud-based business continuity planning solution that can create, simulate and activate business continuity processes such as active shooter events with the push of a button.
6. Use Plan4Continuity for all your business continuity needs
Plan4Continuity seamlessly accelerates business continuity planning by converting manual BC processes into intelligent, automated workflows. It combines the 5 most important elements of continuity planning – people, assets, services, locations and vendors/suppliers to streamline management and boost accountability and facilitates effortless reporting.