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Oklahoma Tornado, Boston Bombing, Young Soldier Killed – It’s time to do a Security Risk Assessment!

More Tornado victims will be buried this week.   Including many children who died at their schools because the school district didn’t spend the extra $3000 to have a storm cellar/safe room available.

One month ago, we watched as victims of the Boston Marathon Bombings were buried.

Yesterday, we watched an Islamic Jihadist savagely kill a  young British soldier with knives.

What other events do we have to witness before we start taking security assessments seriously?   How many more grieving parents do we have to watch crying on TV and, in my opinion, the casualities did not need to be so high and the aftermath so catastrophic.

If you group all these disasters together, you can that at the root of each one, is the feeling that, “IT CAN’T HAPPEN HERE”…..    Britain, for example, has tolerated mosques preaching hate, thinking that nothing like the knife attack could happen in civilized London.

In Moore, Oklahoma, people thought, “we already had a major tornado, so IT CAN’T HAPPEN AGAIN”!  Well, surprise – it happened again.  While forecasters cannot dictate the exact path of a tornado, they can get close, and with just fifteen minutes advance warning, there is  time to get everyone into storm cellars, safe rooms and underground shelters.  BUT IF THERE IS NO SHELTER AT A SCHOOL…….

Many obvious solutions-controls-safeguards were missed in these recent tragedies because proper, formal security risk assessments weren’t done effectively.  If they had been done, perhaps the London police could have picked up someone who touted murder and hate.

If a risk assessment had been done in Moore, OK, maybe the high risk of a tornado would have allowed the schools to all add the safe rooms they needed, and in Boston, the older brother Boston bomber, should have been in jail already for his participation in a previous murder – or at least actively monitored based on his facebook postings.

The clues are all there, and, looking backwards, you can see the pieces that SHOULD HAVE BEEN ENOUGH TO PROMOTE some kind of action to either:

        1. Eliminate the threat  or, 

              2. Reduce the severity of a potential threat in case it occurred.

Security risk assessments gather the numbers and the information organizations need to make better choices about how to protect people’s lives, facilities, and organizations.  I hope these events will prompt more Security Directors to take an objective and unbiased look at their own organizations, and the controls they have in place, before you end up on CNN!


Get Ready for Severe Weather!

Whether it is Spring tornados or spring-summer thunderstorms and hurricanes.  We officially enter the season of severe weather across the U.S.

A major focus at the beginning of each severe weather season, take a few minute to get ready and make sure you are prepared, and your kids are prepared, and your pets are prepared.

You can download a complete list of preparation details at www.ready.gov but here is a
short list to review:

1.  Keep enough food and water for at least two weeks.

2.  Have a family evacuation plan and practice it often, including a meeting place.

3.  Keep a ‘ready-kit’ in your car with extra food, water, change of clothes and don’t forget to include pet food, plastic bags, diapers and other essentials that could carry you for a few days.

4.  Make sure and keep large trees trimmed to decrease the chance they could fall on your house.

5.  Use the internet, like Twitter or National Weather Service, to get breaking alerts, and invest in a battery powered radio.

6.  Keep extra batteries available to keep the radio alerts going.

7.   Keep your car gassed up, instead of running out during an emergency and finding
it’s out of gas, and remember, if the power goes out, the gas pumps don’t work.

8.  Stay alert and try to keep a day ahead of the weather!

Severe Tornados and Why We Need to Stay Prepared

The damage and destruction from the path of a tornado is incredible – and only matched by the sad stories of the survivors, if they are lucky enough to survive.

If there’s one thing that social media has improved – it is the ability of an individual in an affected area to get detailed updated by the minute on a smartphone or over the internet.

The old early warning systems were set up for radio, that was in the days when everyone listened to radios.   I do listen to the radio for maybe 5 minutes a day, in the car, just long enough to put in the CD or connect my ipod.   So the Twitter accounts and iphone-smartphone apps from CNN, the National Weather Service, Weatherbug and dozens more really help to keep people informed.

I often hear news anchors lament the over-availability of information these days, but I think the more access we get to this kind of information and other kinds of info is absolutely a wonderful thing for society and for most people!

If you do live in a tornado-, hurricane- or other disaster-likely area, the Weatherbug app is one of the best because you can set it to actually chirp if severe weather threatens.

As far as risk reduction – being able to protect yourself against major weather events is one of the threats you can more easily eliminate or at least manage.

Are there mor

“Although the average number of April tornadoes steadily increased from 74 a year in the 1950s to 163 a year in the 2000s, nearly all of the increase is of the least powerful tornadoes that may touch down briefly without causing much damage. That suggests better reporting is largely responsible for the increase.

There are, on average, 1,300 tornadoes each year in the United States, which have caused an average of 65 deaths annually in recent years.

The number of tornadoes rated from EF1 to EF5 on the enhanced Fujita scale, used to measure tornado strength, has stayed relatively constant for the past half century at about 500 annually. But in that time the number of confirmed EF0 tornadoes has steadily increased to more than 800 a year from less than 100 a year, said Harold Brooks, a research meteorologist at the National Severe Storms Laboratory. ”