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Hurricanes and more common tropical disturbances aren't foreign to anyone living along the Gulf Coast, and for business owners in Florida, concerns that range from power outages to severe flooding aren't unexpected from time to time. The same is true for accurately forecasted natural disasters such as blizzards and the waves of extreme cold temperatures recently experienced by residents in the Northeast and Midwest as well as the wildfires affecting southern California. Still, when disaster strikes, many businesses are caught unaware because they don't have a strong disaster response plan, haven't updated their plans in some time or aren't partnering with the right resources to protect business interests and save lives. Security companies are a critical component of pre- and post-storm resources for companies looking to protect both their assets and their people.

What is Disaster Planning? Disaster planning proactively addresses disaster responses and disaster recovery planning, and involves working through detailed what-if scenarios with key individuals within your company. During the what-if scenarios, you seriously consider each type of natural and man-made disaster that could hit your city, region or company. Common scenarios covered in disaster planning include fire, flood, terrorist attack, cyber-attack, tornadoes, blizzards, and hurricanes. Strong disaster response plans set out procedures for actions before, during and after various types of scenarios. Plans typically begin with proactive processes meant to keep physical assets, data, and employees as safe as possible, but they should also include plans physical security of the building and people. There's no question disasters are difficult — they can destroy communities by: 

Causing large-scale physical damage to infrastructures, buildings and other property

Driving up stress and emotion, leading to people taking actions they might not make in calm times (such as stealing, defacing property or acting in their own self interest without regard to others)

Tragic loss of life

By putting proper safeguards in place and working with a company such as SOS Security, business owners can help mitigate losses and ensure faster recovery times.

Why Is Physical Security an Important Aspect of Disaster Response and Recovery? On-site security directly influences the level of preparedness in various disasters. Security personnel are able to protect windows, coordinate responses, effectively organize evacuations and assist with recovery. Having a skilled group of individuals for physical security can help maintain calm and order when emotions and stress levels are running high. Even when a business can evacuate employees when facing a pending disaster, someone may need to remain in place to safeguard equipment or assets. It's not always about keeping assets safe from would-be looters, either. In some cases, on-site security may be keeping residents and even looters safe from dangers on the premises. For example, an Orlando attraction with more than 2,000 live alligators planned for extra security before Hurricane Irma to ensure the animals stayed put and no one ventured into danger. During a winter ice storm, power may go out. If a resident of a nursing home or apartment complex has a medical emergency, they may not be able to seek assistance or even call out if lines and cell signals are down. Security officers can use their resources to contact emergency responders; officers can then ensure a clear area for ambulances and staff to safely come through and assist the person in need. This is just one example of when aware and adept security staff can take critical action to save lives. After a storm or other event, continued high alert status may be required to safeguard your business and employees. This is especially true in the retail sector, which may

need security assistance to ensure lines are orderly and that buildings remain protected during off-hours. At the end of the day, natural disasters are every bit as much a lesson in humanity and compassion as they are a call for strategic assistance. Area businesses typically want to walk a line between helping the region and protecting themselves, and at a time when emotions and needs are in high demand, additional security is needed. "One post, one guard" approaches don't work in the real world, especially when distress is widespread and the need for help is immediate.

Planning Ahead Choosing the right security company to service your business is a complex process. You need someone who displays the utmost in professionalism, but integrity and effectiveness are never more important than when your business's livelihood is threatened by the unpredictable whims of Mother Nature. Consider physical security as a real need when you're engaging in disaster planning. When deciding on a security company, ask questions that help you understand exactly how each service can assist you during hours of extreme need. Some good questions to start with include: 

Do you need to schedule service ahead of time, or will the company automatically check up on its client during or following an emergency (once communication and road access is restored, if applicable)?

How will you reach your security firm to request assistance? Are there backup methods of communication other than telephone numbers if cell phone towers and landlines are knocked out?

How quickly can you expect a team to come to your aid?

What services will those teams provide?

What type of backgrounds — military and police, for example — training and certifications do security personnel have?

Work with a company that is professional, has a good reputation and is flexible enough to meet your needs. You’ll appreciate the peace of mind now and in times of emergency.

SOS Security Acquires California-based First Security Services  

First Security Services provides security solutions for industrial complexes, businesses, school districts, governments and healthcare facil...

SOS Security Acquires California-based First Security Services  

First Security Services provides security solutions for industrial complexes, businesses, school districts, governments and healthcare facil...