legal staff. This can be considered unlawful imprisonment and such action must be
allowed within the local laws and customs.
The reason for this tactic is to prevent staff
moving into the clear, should the caller be
intent on shooting staff emerging from the
building. However, an organization must
also keep in mind the reputational risk
associated with this policy (would include
clients and visitors of all ages).
Conversely, an evacuation should be
conducted in a different manner than for a
fire. Instead of congregating at the normal
large assembly en masse, move to many
smaller sheltered spaces. Again, this is to
protect against the terrorist tactic of flushing
out the victims into an open killing ground.
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instructions are communicated should be
consistent with other BC communication
strategies. As clarity and tone are important, message templates should be created
well in advance of any need.
Assuming that communication occurs
at the time of a lockdown or evacuation,
how will the staff respond? Organizations
need to have such a policy publicly stated
(if and/or when a lockdown would occur)
and part of the awareness program. As
with other emergency procedures, the repetition of procedures and drills promotes
an orderly and effective response.
Back to the question of searches
When would a search be conducted?
Those of us who emphasize employee
safety may have implicitly thought the
sequence of events would be a) to notify
staff to evacuate, b) ensure staff safely
assembled at the various predetermined
points, c) find the designated searchers, d)
brief them on the situation plus any background intelligence available, and e) direct
them back into the building.
An alternate sequence of events could
be a) notify staff that a bomb threat has
been received; b) instruct all staff to perform a visual scan of the surrounding area
from their desks; c) write down any unusual
item, its location, and why it is unusual;
d) take the description to the appropriate
manager (department, physical security, or
business continuity), and, if individual has
detected a suspicious object; e) proceed to
the predetermined off premise site.
If someone does report a suspicious
item, then the crisis management team
can determine the course of action. If no
one reports anything, then the crisis management team needs to determine to what
extent the alleged bomb could be in an
unoccupied area of the building. It would
be their decision to conduct a proactive
search of the premises.
The alternate sequence of events would
need to be practiced in the same way a fire
drill is practiced by all occupants. Having
trained staff in the face of a high stress situation is more likely to generate good information regarding the credibility of the threat.
One contributor suggested a more proactive approach: ensure that the staff is
familiar with how the environment should
look and report anything that is out of place