Organizational leaders should work to strike a balance: to offer a warm and welcoming facility, while at the same time ensuring that their members, students, staffs, clients and building are safe and secure. Leaders concerned with everybody’s safety and security should prepare to deal with emergencies, because “on the fly” reflexes might not be as effective as a pre-determined and rehearsed plan. While your “to-do” list at the beginning of the academic and program year is long, consider these tips to help you prepare for emergencies and ensure you can protect your constituencies.
1. Control access to your facility
No unauthorized person should be allowed to enter your facility. Every person entering your facility should be screened by security (or other) staff.
- Limit entrances and exits. Limit access to your facility to monitored entrances.
- Don’t slow down regular users. Create a system to identify regulars (e.g., staff, members).
- Screen irregular visitors. g., people with appointments, contractors, etc. See more at Sample Building Access Policies & Procedures.
- Divide your building into sectors. Should people authorized to use one part of the building be able to wander into another? If you have an access control system, take advantage of its capabilities to allow specific access. Alternatively, use color-coded badges, wristbands or ID cards as a low-tech solution.
2. Plan your emergency response
Stuff happens. Emergencies are not events that you can handle on the fly. Consider having plans, procedures and designated teams empowered to make decisions during emergencies, and trained and prepared to respond to events.
- Develop and train an emergency response team. Designate someone to be in charge during an emergency and someone else as backup. Build a support team. Have the team work together on your response plans.
- Build a relationship with your local police.Work with your local police throughout the year and give them the opportunity to get to know your programs, your rhythms, your people and your building. Ask them for suggestions as to how to make your people safer.
- Know what to do if you receive a threat. Get some ideas about preparing for phone, email or social media threats and evacuations and sheltering at: https://www.jcrcny.org/2017/02/to-evacuate-or-not-to-evacuate-that-is-the-question/.
- Have an “active shooter” Do the people in your facility know what to do if a person with a gun or sharp-edged weapon shows up? Find more information at: www.jcrcny.org/activeshooter.
- Be ready to tell people what’s happening. Don’t let your stakeholders learn about an emergency at your facility from the media. Be prepared to communicate. Have some pre-written messages: be first; be right; be credible. Consider options including hardware and web-based emergency notification systems that will simultaneously email, text and phone pre-prepared lists, dedicated social media groups or free apps such as WhatsApp or GroupMe that will send texts (including a link to your website with more info and updates). Now is the time to collect the cell numbers of your stakeholders.
- Involve your board in the security and preparedness process.
3. Develop a routine
Security, done well, must be done daily and involve everybody.
- Create a culture of security. Everyone should feel responsible to report suspicious activity. “If you see something, say something” should be part of your culture of security.
- Be aware of hostile surveillance. If you see something, say something. If it is not an emergency, call the NYPD at (888) NYC-SAFE, outside NYC (866) SAFE-NYS. For more information download Indicators of Terrorist Activity from the NYPD, Guide to Detecting Surveillance of Jewish Institutions from the ADL at adl.org/security and Security Awarenessby Paul DeMatties at Global Security Risk Management, LLC.
- Schedule regular walkarounds. Designate an employee to complete a “walkaround” of your building and your perimeter on a daily basis, if not more often. They should be looking for suspicious objects, items blocking evacuation routes and anything else that “Just Doesn’t Look Right.”
- Make sure you’re getting the right information. Sign up for alerts to learn when the local and/or global security threats conditions change. Sources: JCRC-NY Security Alerts at jcrcny.org/security, https://www.nypdshield.org/public/signup.aspx, emergency alerts from Notify NYC or your local emergency management office and have a weather app on your smartphone to warn you about severe weather.
- Work with your security provider and your staff to write, “post orders”. Your guards should not merely decorate your entrance. They should know what you expect them to do daily and in emergencies.
4. Don’t forget to train
Major leaguers take batting practice before every game. True, they started batting in the Little Leagues, but drills help people to know, instinctively, what to do. Emergencies that turn to chaos become crises. People know what to do during a fire drill, because they have participated in fire drills since grade school.
Use tabletop exercises involving a wide swath of stakeholders to help you to determine policies and procedures. Once you have determined your plans and procedures, schedule evacuation and lockdown drills. And remember … once is not enough.
5. Explore your security hardware options
Your security hardware should support your security procedures. There are federal and New York State grants available for many organizations (see: www.jcrcny.org/securitygrants for more details). Consider obtaining the funding for:
- Your main and secondary doors should lock securely and be able to withstand an attack by a determined intruder.
- Do your windows lock securely? Reduce the risk of break-ins, vandalism and even mitigate the extent of injuries from bomb blasts by properly installing security/blast-mitigation film on your current windows or replacing them with windows with those properties built-in.
- Access control systems. The electronic possibilities are endless: access cards, biometrics, alarms and more. Get professional advice (see JCRC-NY’s guidance on Security vendors), figure out a hardware plan that is expandable and adaptable.
- Video monitoring. Deploy CCTV systems in various ways. First, as part of a video intercom system to identify people seeking to enter your facility. Second, to monitor secondary entrances (you can add alarms that warn you that a door was opened, alerting someone to check the monitor), and finally, to help to detect hostile surveillance.
David Pollock and Paul DeMatteis
email@example.com | August 30, 2017
We’ve taken an initial look at the federal guidance and not much is new. Stay tuned for specifics.
NYS Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services (NY DHSES) will develop its RFA (application package) based on the DHS guidance and specify a deadline for all applications to be electronically submitted (State agencies must have time to judge and process several hundred submissions, so the applicant deadline will be considerably sooner than the federal deadline). The RFA will be posted at: http://www.dhses.ny.gov/grants/nonprofit.cfm. Note: In NY, the requirements and deadlines posted by NY DHSES are final.
We’ve scheduled a webinar with our NY DHSES partners for Monday, February 22, 2016 at 11 AM. Click here to make a reservation and to receive the sign-in instructions to join the webinar.
|NSGP 2016: Here’s what you can do now|
|Prequalification||NY nonprofits should register at https://grantsgateway.ny.gov/ &
complete their Document Vault . See JCRC-NY’s additional
information at: https://www.jcrcny.org/document-vault-faqs/If your nonprofit was previously prequalified, you will still have to update certain documents or your document vault is expired. Check our your document vault for more information.
|E-Grant registration||If you have an existing account (and remember the
username/password), you’re fine; to register for the DHSES E-Grant
system, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
|Risk assessment||Find guidance and contacts at:
https://www.jcrcny.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/FY2015NSGP_InvestmentJustification.pdf and work on responses to each section. It’s unlikely that there will be any significant changes, except possibly Section VII (Impact).
|For the most up-to-date info||https://www.jcrcny.org/securitygrants|
JCRC-NY and UJA-Federation worked closely with JFNA and its partners worked very hard to bolster the NSGP program allocation this year, and the roles of the Orthodox Union and Agudath Israel were critical.
– See more at: https://www.jcrcny.org/what-we-do/security-emergency-preparedness/blog/#sthash.U5mnLs3l.dpuf
The past few months have been busy with JCRC-NY coordinating major training sessions for hundreds of institutions in the NY area. There is a heightened awareness of the potential for attacks and a willingness on the part of organizations to “Step up their Game.”
All of the trainings focused on security/terrorism awareness, building a culture of security within organizations and active shooter responses. Kudos and thanks to our wonderful partners, including: NYPD Counterterrorism, U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the FBI. Our common goals are to strengthen the ties between law enforcement and nonprofit organizations and to empower them by giving them to tools and knowledge to respond as well as possible. Here’s some examples of our recent work: Continue Reading
Mayor de Blasio today issued a hazardous travel advisory for Saturday, January 23, 2016 through Sunday, January 24, 2016. Nassau, Suffolk and Westchester Counties have issued similar advisories. The National Weather Service (NWS) has issued a Blizzard Watch for New York City from Saturday morning through Sunday afternoon. This system is forecast to bring heavy snow along with strong and potentially damaging winds, and will create slick and hazardous travel conditions. Stay tuned for the latest updates via Notify NYC, NYC Severe Weather.
What’s in store? For most of the region, the current NWS forecast is for heavy snow (8 to 12 inches forecast) and potentially damaging northeast winds of 25 to 35 mph with gusts up to 50 mph in much of the region. There is also likely to be coastal flooding over multiple high tide cycles.
How should I prepare? Travel during the storm may be extremely dangerous due to heavy snowfall, strong winds and whiteout conditions. Some roads may become impassable and strong winds may down power lines and tree limbs.
- Stock up with enough food and supplies. You might not be able to shop over the weekend.
- Have extra batteries on hand in the event of power outages.
- Check on your neighbors, especially those who are vulnerable.
Travel Safety Tips. New Yorkers are encouraged to take the following precautions:
- If you must drive a vehicle, monitor weather and traffic reports for the latest road conditions. Use mass transportation whenever possible.
- Drive slowly. Posted speed limits are for ideal weather conditions. Vehicles take longer to stop on snow and ice than on dry pavement.
- Use major streets or highways for travel whenever possible.
- Four-wheel drive vehicles may make it easier to drive on snow-covered roads, but they do not stop quicker than other vehicles.
- Keep the name and phone number of at least one local towing service in your car in case you break down or become stuck in snow.
- If you get stuck on the road, stay with your car and contact a towing company.
- Exercise caution and avoid slippery surfaces; some ice may not be visible.
- Wear layers including a hat, gloves/mittens, and a scarf to stay protected from the cold. And keep clothes and shoes dry, if a layer becomes wet, remove it.
- Keep fingertips, earlobes, and noses covered if you go outside.
- Have heightened awareness of cars, particularly when approaching or crossing intersections.
- Wear sturdy boots that provide traction to reduce slipping. Use handrails when using stairs.
- Seniors should take extra care outdoors to avoid slips and falls from icy conditions.
Safe Home Heating Tips
- Report any loss of heat or hot water to property managers immediately, and call 311.
- If homes lack heat, get to a warm place, if possible, and wear extra layers of dry, loose-fitting clothing, hats and gloves to help stay warm.
- Never use a gas stove to heat your home.
- Never use a kerosene or propane space heater, charcoal or gas grill, or generator indoors or near the home.
- Check on your neighbors, friends, and relatives — especially the elderly and those with disabilities and access and functional needs. People most likely to be exposed to dangerous winter weather conditions include those who lack shelter, work outdoors, and/or live in homes with malfunctioning or inadequate heat. Seniors, infants, people with chronic cardiovascular or lung conditions, people using alcohol or drugs, and people with cognitive impairments such as from dementia, serious mental illness or developmental disability, are at increased risk.
For more helpful tips for staying warm and safe, view NYC Emergency Management’s public service video announcement, or visit NYC.gov/EmergencyManagement. New Yorkers are also encouraged to sign up for Notify NYC, the City’s free emergency notification system. Through Notify NYC, New Yorkers can receive phone calls, text messages, and/or emails alerts about traffic and transit disruptions and other emergencies. To sign up for Notify NYC, call 311, visit NYC.gov/notifynyc, or follow @NotifyNYC on Twitter.
By Nathan Guttman
Published January 20, 2010
The crowd broke out in cheers as an ambulance pulled out of what was once Haiti’s main tax administration office, carrying a survivor rescued from the wreckage by an Israeli team four days after this city’s devastating earthquake.
“Bravo!” the onlookers shouted. “We love you, Israel.”
It was a picture-perfect moment for Israeli public diplomacy.
Israel’s Relief Effort in Haiti Saves Lives, Boosts Image – Forward.com