Be prepared in the workplace

Published 8:04 pm Wednesday, December 2, 2015

The attacks in Paris are still fresh. One can scroll through Facebook and still see profile pictures watermarked with the colors of the French flag. The most recent attack has taken place on our own soil. Three masked gunmen opened fire in a San Bernardino center for people with developmental disabilities. As of this writing, the perpetrators of this tragedy remained unknown.

This most recent happening brings plenty of concerns to the forefront. One of them is the need for proactive measures should something similar happen again. As unfortunate as it is, people need to be prepared in the workplace.

President of the Beaufort County Police Activities League and former FBI counterterrorism expert Al Powell has advocated this for some time. One important component of preparedness is mindset. People need to be thinking “when something happens” rather than “if something happens.” He’s campaigned for businesses and organizations across Beaufort County to have some kind of game plan ready to go.

The need for preparation isn’t limited to just active-shooter scenarios. Natural disasters are another example especially applicable to this region. Preemptively considering vulnerabilities and liabilities can help a business or organization deal with certain issues before they’re truly problematic. Should something happen, it will help area first responders to be better prepared and perform their jobs more efficiently, too.

A lot of businesses and organizations have already created emergency action plans. Beaufort County Community College’s safety coordinator Hal Miller and campus Police Chief Chris Harrison have measures in place to ensure the safety of students, staff and faculty. BCCC has fire drills and checks extinguishers once a semester. Employees watch active-shooter training videos as part of their training in how react in those situations.

Any plan is better than no plan when preparing to react in any sort of emergency situation. Any business or organization that doesn’t have anything in place should formulate some kind of plan as soon as possible. Workplace safety is an important facet of keeping Beaufort County’s residents safe. Know how to react if, God forbid, something happens.