Sadly, We Have New Threats To Consider…

Sadly, We Have New Threats To Consider…

We spend most of our time worrying about the safety of our patrons and employees as it relates to our rides, our midways, our food, our fleets and our service.  All of which require absolute attention to detail and a focus on safety.  There is a commonality amongst them…by in large we can control them.  Unfortunately, in this ever-changing world we live in we have a series of new threats that are outside of our control…active shooter violence.

Active shooter events are becoming more and more prevalent.  According to the FBI, as of 2014, there was a yearly average of 11.4 events.  This level has risen to 13.3 events in 2016 and all indications point to even more frequency in months and years to come.

Targets have been random and where people congregate such as schools, churches, festivals and malls.  This would lead a reasonable person to assume that our beloved midways and fairs are potential targets for these maniacs.  SO…what can we do?

With the help of our partners at Specialty Insurance Group, I offer you the following recommendations:  The DHS suggests that businesses implement a preparedness plan consisting of the following components:

• Security Assessment
  – A security assessment should be completed by security professionals to identify vulnerabilities and determine the most appropriate deterrents.
• Preparedness
  – Key personnel should be trained to recognize potential active shooter (e.g. disgruntled individuals or those making verbal threats to patrons, co-workers or management).
• Communication
  – Communication lines with site security, local law enforcement, legal counsel and first responders should be developed and numbers should be posted for all staff.
• Training
  – All staff should be trained on how to respond to an active shooter scenario. The FBI, FEMA and DHS have a host of training tools and programs immediately available upon request. Local law enforcement may be able to help as well.

All staff should be well aware of the following three response options:

1. Run
    a. Have an escape route and plan in mind.
    b. Leave your belongings behind.
    c. Evacuate regardless of whether others agree to follow.
    d. Help others escape if possible.
    e. Do not attempt to move the wounded.
    f. Prevent others from entering an area where the active shooter may be located.
    g. Keep your hands visible.
    h. Call 911 when you are safe.
2. Hide
    a. Hide in an area out of the shooter’s view.
    b. Lock door or block entry into your hiding place.
    c. Silence your cell phone (including vibrate mode) and remain quiet.
3. Fight
    a. Fight as a last resort and only when your life is in imminent danger.
    b. Attempt to incapacitate the shooter.
    c. Act with as much physical aggression as possible.
    d. Improvise weapons or throw items at the active shooter.
    e. Commit to your actions…your life depends on it!

I know this is a tough and unpleasant subject to think about.  It is, unfortunately, a sad reality in today’s world.  It is far better to address this now, with your team, then after such a tragedy occurs.  I implore you to take this seriously and assume that “it will happen to you.”  For a complete Loss Control Alert and Safety Checklists on this topic, email me at dtewksbury@mcgowaninsurance.com.

Remember, Safety isn’t expensive…it’s priceless!