Workplace Terrorism – Preparing for the Worst


From Charlie Hebdo to Pulse Nightclub, stories of terrorism and mass shootings have, sadly, dominated the global airwaves in 2016. Perhaps the most frightening part of this violence? People have the greatest chance of becoming a victim of a mass shooting when they’re simply going to work. According to a 2013 study, 70% of U.S. mass shootings occur in schools and businesses – our places of work.

Although employers want to do their very best to avoid this terror, it can be quite difficult to prevent active-shooter incidents. They’re uncommon, can strike at any time, and are typically over in a matter of minutes or even seconds. However, there are things you can do to prepare for the worst. Here are a few basic guidelines that often go overlooked.

Check your Security – A good place to start is with a cursory assessment of your facilities’ security. Examine potential areas of vulnerability within your company and work together to come up with ways to improve your preparedness. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) offers a course on Workplace Security Awareness that can jumpstart your brainstorming. You may also want to consider hiring a security consultant to assist in this step.

Develop an Emergency Response Plan – An Emergency Response Plan includes assigning specific individuals in your organization to be first responders, determining a step-by-step action plan, and (most importantly) practicing these steps regularly. Keep in mind, however, that having safety drills too often or accompanying them with fear-inducing speeches may cause unnecessary stress and anxiety, which can put a strain on productivity and morale.

Consider Added Insurance – Depending on your type of business, stepping up your coverage may be a worthwhile investment. Let Insured Solutions help you to learn more about the costs, advantages, and potential limitations of insurance for a crisis.

It may seem daunting to put together a plan for a workplace violence or terror situation, but the worst thing your business can do is nothing. Creating common sense preparations ahead of time helps keep heads cool and thoughts collected when facing an unexpected threat at the office.





Carrie Charity Murphy is a freelance writer for Insured Solutions and Improve comedienne based in Louisville, Kentucky. She lives with her husband Ben and their two dogs, Sprocket and Ms. Brisby.
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