Business Security and Coronavirus
We all should know by now that we are all going through a global pandemic at this point, and for some of us this is a first in a lifetime event. There is no doubt that tensions are high and the uncertainty is overwhelming to many people.
Business Security Concerns Regarding Coronavirus
If you have not already noticed it there has been an obvious rush by Americans to stock up on what they feel they will need during this pandemic. Items such as hand sanitizer, disinfectants, toilet paper, bottled water and many other common household supplies are being purchased just as fast as the stores stock their shelves.
In addition to that the NBA, Major League Baseball and other organizations have postponed all games until further notice, schools in some areas have been closed, large public gatherings are now in some states not permitted and even airlines are cancelling flights. There are numerous other reactions such as travel bans, employers who require staff to not come to work for at least 2 weeks if they have traveled outside the country. The list goes on and on and will likely only get worse over time.
Security Response to Pandemic
So far things have been fairly calm in the United States, and by that, I mean that the restrictions placed by employers, cities, counties, states and the federal government have not yet caused people to act out. However, I think those days are in our future.
When you demand that people not come to work, even though no medical professional or government agency has told them to self-quarantine, you are poking that bear – people’s finances. I think we all understand the fear, which is being hyped by the unknown in this matter, but will our uninformed or under-informed decisions result in people acting out? It may be only a matter of time.
In my opinion people have been getting used to some of the things that they are being asked to do because they want to help. I also believe that their anxiety is only climbing as time goes on and as the infection rates and deaths mount. This is where businesses need to start planning.
Business security measures need to come front and center and the planning must get underway if it has not already happened.
Business Security Plans for Pandemic
Can your business be operated from home? If not, what plans do you have for the staff that have to commute and work?
Does your business sell the items that people are making a run on now? If so, what are your plans if panic sets in and all common sense escapes us, and people use force to get what they want?
This ongoing global crisis is affecting all walks of life and all types of businesses. Travel bans and reduced shipments of goods may become normal until this is over, so what plans does your business have in place. Our economy is driven by the consumer and the workers and if they cannot work, or travel for work, or even return from vacation without being quarantined on a cruise ship, how will businesses keep operating.
Think also about the long-term effects that the pandemic could bring about if stores and business shut down for an extended period of time, and the consumer cannot get what they need. Will your assets be safe?
Security Officers and Coronavirus
Security officers encounter many people throughout their shifts, and normally have access to some if not all areas of their employer’s property. In some cases, they are also known to get into physical contact with people that they are removing from the property or assisting with a medical emergency. That being the case, we need to consider their health and safety.
In addition to that, those same security officers that may be exposed to Coronavirus may not realize it immediately and seeing how they will often cover all locations and offices on the property, they may be the catalyst that spreads the virus to others at work.
So, what can we do to help the security officers? Get them training now on infection controls, prevention steps and measures that they can take, provide them with any personal protective gear that they may need to perform their jobs, and keep them informed. These are the employees that are out front and visible and on the front lines. If they are not trained on what to watch for, how to deal with aggressive customers or others, and how to protect your assets including your other employees, you are likely missing the mark.
Security Emergency Action Plan
Think back to September 11, 2001, when businesses in New York City found themselves in the middle of a situation that they had never even contemplated in the past. Think about the Ebola outbreak several years ago and how that affected everyone, evening causing some businesses to close and not able to recover because of the lost business and public’s perception that their business was not safe. Now that we have given that thought a moment to set in, what’s your plan? There is no play book on this, but we can certainly learn from the past, as we should.
Sit down with your management and come up with a business plan directed at this pandemic and the resulting stock market wide swings that we have been seeing. Even the best estimates tell us that we will be dealing with this pandemic through the Spring, so a lot can happen during that time.
Also sit down with your security department, or contract security service, and find out what their plan is. If they do not have one by now, you need to get that changed or change the services that you are using.
In closing, these are uncharted waters that we are swimming in these days, and we are watching our world in chaos it seems. It is time that we as business owners took responsibility for our actions, or lack thereof, and ensure that we are ready for whatever comes our way. Our employees are very important to our survival as a business. Remember to consider their needs, concerns, fears and so on and do whatever you can to help them through this if they cannot come to the office to work, or when they experience issues like no transportation or even childcare. Remember that old saying, “Think Outside the Box!”