Florida is no stranger to the destructive forces of hurricanes as we know from IAN in 2022. So, for security guarding companies operating in the Sunshine State, having a comprehensive hurricane preparedness plan is not just advisable; it’s essential. In this blog, we will explore the critical components of a hurricane preparedness plan for security companies in Florida.
Understanding the Importance of Hurricane Preparedness |
Hurricanes can bring devastating winds, heavy rainfall, storm surges, and power outages. For security guarding companies, these natural disasters pose unique challenges |
Client Protection |Security companies have a responsibility to protect their clients’ properties and assets during this intense weather. A well-prepared plan is crucial for ensuring the safety and security of clients’ premises during a hurricane.
Personnel Safety |The safety of security personnel is paramount. A hurricane preparedness plan should include measures to protect the well-being of security guards who may be on duty during a storm.
Components of a Company Hurricane Preparedness Plan |
Risk Assessment |Begin by identifying potential risks and vulnerabilities associated with hurricanes in your service area. This assessment should consider factors such as the company’s geographical location, the frequency of hurricanes, and the specific risks to clients’ properties. Security companies should include such a plan in their own risk assessment for sites in Florida. This includes anticipating how officers will get to and from a site in a hurricane. It may be necessary to provide a provision in the contract that a site will be closed during inclement weather. Some sites such as hospitals cannot be closed, and so this needs careful consideration. During Hurricane Irma in 2018, Shergroup Security Officers sheltered in special accommodation at AdventHealth hospitals to avoid breaching curfews.
Emergency Contact Information |Maintain up-to-date contact information for all security personnel, clients, and local authorities. This information should be easily accessible in case of an emergency. Security personnel should be reminded to charge their phones and take chargers to site so they can keep their device topped up in case the power goes out.
Communication Protocols |Establish clear communication protocols for emergency situations. This includes methods for reaching security personnel, clients, and relevant authorities during a hurricane. Also have a contact number for a relative on file that the security officer is happy to share for emergency purposes only.
Evacuation Plans |Develop evacuation plans for both security personnel and clients’ properties if necessary. These plans should include evacuation routes, assembly points, and procedures for safely leaving the area. Officers should be reminded to keep their vehicles topped up with gas as the hurricane approaches as many gas stations may be closed during the emergency.
Backup Power |Ensure that critical security systems have backup power sources, such as generators or uninterruptible power supplies (UPS), to maintain functionality during power outages. If the client has a generator on their site then ensure the client understands that the security team will need to charge their phones during the emergency.
Property Protection |Implement measures to secure clients’ properties, such as reinforcing doors and windows, securing loose objects, and safeguarding valuable equipment. Also this is not the job of the security team, they can assist by photographing risks they see on site as the bad weather closes and adding that to their DAR’s and Incident Reports.
Employee Safety |Prioritize the safety of security personnel. Encourage personnel to follow safety guidelines, including avoiding unnecessary risks and adhering to evacuation orders.
Client Communication |Maintain open lines of communication with clients before, during, and after a hurricane. Clients should be informed of the company’s preparedness measures and any actions taken to protect their properties.
Post-Hurricane Assessment |After the hurricane has passed, conduct a thorough assessment of any damage to clients’ properties and security systems. Promptly report any issues and implement necessary repairs or replacements. Again use DAR’s to photograph damage and recommend what needs to be done to improve the response for the next hurricane. They won’t stop coming!
Training and Drills |Ensure that security personnel are trained in hurricane preparedness and response. Conduct regular drills to test the effectiveness of the plan and familiarize personnel with emergency procedures.
Collaboration with Local Authorities |
Security guarding companies should collaborate with local emergency management agencies and authorities to stay informed about hurricane developments and access resources when needed. This collaboration enhances the effectiveness of the hurricane preparedness plan.
Summing Up | Protecting Florida’s Security
In hurricane-prone Florida, security guarding companies have a vital role to play in safeguarding both clients and personnel during these natural disasters. A well-structured hurricane preparedness plan, coupled with proactive risk assessment and training, ensures that security companies are prepared to face the challenges posed by hurricanes while providing the security services their clients rely on.
Ensure the safety of your clients and personnel in hurricane-prone Florida! Visit www.shergroupusstg.wpenginepowered.com to discover how our security services, equipped with comprehensive hurricane preparedness plans, can shield your properties and assets. Email us at [email protected] or call us at 833-743-7872 for a secure tomorrow!