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crisis management

CRISIS MANAGEMENT MONTH: Assessing the risks, planning for success

960 640 Stuart O'Brien
In the world of corporate operations, crises are inevitable. For physical security professionals, being prepared to manage such crises effectively is paramount. Successful corporate crisis management hinges on a multifaceted approach, integrating strategic planning, clear communication, and swift action. Here are the key pillars that underpin successful corporate crisis management for physical security professionals…

1. Comprehensive Risk Assessment: The foundation of effective crisis management is a thorough understanding of potential risks. This involves identifying and evaluating threats that could impact corporate operations, ranging from natural disasters and technological failures to security breaches and terrorist attacks. A comprehensive risk assessment allows for the development of tailored strategies to mitigate these risks.

2. Robust Planning and Preparation: Once risks are identified, the next step is to develop robust crisis management plans. These plans should detail specific actions for different scenarios, including evacuation procedures, emergency response teams, and communication strategies. Regular training and drills are essential to ensure that all staff are familiar with these plans and can execute them effectively when needed.

3. Rapid Response Capabilities: In the event of a crisis, the ability to respond swiftly and decisively is crucial. Physical security professionals must ensure that response teams are well-equipped and ready to act at a moment’s notice. This includes having access to necessary resources, such as emergency supplies and communication tools, and clear protocols for mobilizing these resources.

4. Clear and Effective Communication: Transparent and timely communication is a cornerstone of successful crisis management. This involves not only communicating effectively within the organisation but also with external stakeholders, such as emergency services, media, and the public. Establishing predefined communication channels and messages can help manage the flow of information and prevent the spread of misinformation.

5. Strong Leadership: Effective crisis management requires strong leadership. Leaders must be able to make quick decisions, provide clear direction, and maintain calm under pressure. The leadership team should also be visible and accessible, offering reassurance and guidance to staff and stakeholders.

6. Post-Crisis Analysis and Learning: After a crisis, conducting a thorough debriefing to analyse the response and outcomes is essential. This analysis should identify what worked well and areas for improvement. Lessons learned should be integrated into future planning, ensuring that the organisation is better prepared for future crises.

Successful corporate crisis management for physical security professionals in the UK rests on comprehensive risk assessment, robust planning and preparation, rapid response capabilities, clear and effective communication, strong leadership, and a commitment to continuous learning and improvement. By adhering to these key pillars, physical security professionals can protect their organisations, mitigate the impact of crises, and navigate through challenging situations with resilience and confidence.

Are you looking for Crisis Management solutions for your organisation? The Total Security Summit can help!

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If you specialise in Crisis Management we want to hear from you!

960 640 Stuart O'Brien
Each month on Security Briefing we’re shining the spotlight on a different part of the security market – and in February we’ll be focussing on Crisis Management. It’s all part of our ‘Recommended’ editorial feature, designed to help security buyers find the best products and services available today. So, if you’re a supplier of Crisis Management solutions and would like to be included as part of this exciting new shop window, we’d love to hear from you – for more info, contact Macy Townsend on Here’s our full features list: Feb – Crisis Management Mar – Health and Safety Apr – Facial Recognition May – Card Readers/Smart Cards / ID Cards June – Surveillance & Monitoring July – Incident Management and Assessment Aug – Business Continuity & Risk Management Sept – CCTV / CCTV Maintenance Oct – Incident Management Nov – Security Training & Education Dec – Wireless Access Control Jan – Access Control Photo by Jason Leung on Unsplash

Crisis Management – How Command and Control software can help

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Our world is a dangerous place. There have been over 5,000 terrorist related incidents in the UK alone in the last 40 years, resulting in the deaths of over 3,000 people. While the number of terrorist incidents has decreased in recent years thanks to the excellent, persevering work of anti-terrorism police, it remains a real threat. The reality is that a major incident could happen any day.

As with most security events, there are two critical stages: How can a control room help prevent the incident from happening in the first place, and the second is how do we deal with it once it is underway. Recent terrorist incidents in the UK have shown us that there is a need for immediately recognising what is going on and having a firm plan in place to act to save lives. There are many facets to this, the most key of which is accessing vital information instantly.

Merlin, by Initsys, is a Command and Control software traditionally aimed at the security industry to deal with events within a single platform. These can include CCTV, traditional alarms, door access, fire detection, and PA. Over the years, Merlin has been tailored not only to work reactively but proactively, helping to look for threats and present data to operators immediately when it recognises that an incident might be imminent. An excellent example of this would be object detection through CCTV, the ability to recognise when an item has been abandoned or even something as simple as recognising when an area becomes crowded before or after a concert.

Of course, not all events can be detected using technology. We must give staff the ability to raise concerns or manually trigger an event that, from the control room’s point of view, is handled no differently to how it might have been had it been started by CCTV. Through Merlin, touch screen terminals or hand-held device apps can trigger events via custom-designed templates that send a signal to the control room. Using Merlin’s innovative “Rules Engine,” the operators can be told exactly how to react. For example, how might a control room operator respond to a radio report that someone is asking suspiciously? There may even be a risk that the suspicious individual will hear the information being radioed back to the control room. By raising the concern conspicuously through an app or terminal, the operator can follow a process that has been meticulously planned alongside the police, removing that element of “what now?”.

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