High-level executives, visiting dignitaries and celebrities are among those who suffer from an incessant fear of personal danger, and they are willing to pay for a greater sense of security.
Amid the frequent terror alerts and supposed plots to gut limousines and use them as mobile bombs, America’s elite continue to rate safety as a top concern. These clients have long relied on chauffeured transportation companies for safe service, but now many demand that drivers be background checked, drug tested and professionally trained. A growing number are even taking security to the next level - hiring armed bodyguards to travel with them.
In certain parts of the country, background checks have become just another step in the chauffeur licensing process. The checks are also quickly becoming a part of doing business nationwide.
Many operators are now focusing on stringent hiring and ongoing fact-checking procedures in their marketing materials to show potential clients they are proactive about safety.
Resources on the Web
The first step in the process of protecting yourself, your business and others around you is education. Business owners should:
Become familiar with terrorist threats and their effects (physical, biological, chemical, etc.).
Conduct a risk assessment for all buildings, facilities, equipment, processes and employees.
Develop and implement a comprehensive emergency preparedness plan, which includes provisions for preparedness, response, and recovery from terrorist events.
The following list came from “Preparing for and Responding to Terrorism: Internet Resources” by The Hartford, an insurance and financial services company. It offers quick reference to selected information from government agencies and other organizations. Additional information is available on the company’s Web site, www.thehartford.com.
General Information and Assistance
ARC http://www.redcross.org/ BOMA BOMA International Emergency Resource Center http://www.boma.org/emergency/ CDC: Public Health Emergency Preparedness and Response http://www.bt.cdc.gov/ CERT: Improve Security http://www.cert.org/nav/index_green.html DHS http://www.dhs.gov/dhspublic/ and www.ready.gov EPA Chemical Emergency Preparedness and Prevention http://yosemite.epa.gov/oswer/ceppoweb.nsf/content/index.html FEMA: Hazards: Terrorism http://www.fema.gov/hazards/terrorism/ NIOSH Emergency Response Resources http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/emres/ NSC: Emergencies and Disasters http://www.nsc.org/issues/prepare.htm OSHA: Emergency Response http://www.osha.gov/SLTC/emergencyresponse/index.html U.S. Department of Justice Criminal Division, Computer Crime & Intellectual Property Section http://www.cybercrime.gov/
Responding to Terror Alerts
ARC: How Can You Prepare When A Terror Threat is Issued? http://www.redcrossatlanta.org/homelandsecurity/index.html ARC: Homeland Security Advisory System Recommendations for Individuals, Families, Neighborhoods, Schools, and Businesses http://www.redcross.org/services/disaster/beprepared/hsas.html Businesses: http://www.redcross.org/services/disaster/beprepared/hsas/business.pdf
Emergency Preparedness Planning
ARC: Preparing Your Business for the Unthinkable http://www.redcross.org/services/disaster/beprepared/unthinkable2.pdf ASIS: ASIS Disaster Preparation Guide http://www.asisonline.org/newsroom/crisisResponse/disaster.pdf FEMA: Emergency Management Guide For Business & Industry http://www.fema.gov/library/bizindex.shtm IBHS: Getting Back to Business - A Guide for the Small Business Owner Following Disaster http://www.ibhs.org/docs/GBB.pdf IBHS: Open for Business: A Disaster Planning Toolkit for the Small Business Owner http://www.ibhs.org/docs/openforbusiness.pdf NIOSH: Emergency Preparedness for Business http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/prepared/ OSHA: How to Prepare for Workplace Emergencies and Evacuations http://www.osha.gov/Publications/osha3088.pdf
ASSE: Providing Secure Bus Operations: Safety Recommendations for the Commercial Vehicle Operator http://www.asse.org/naoshweek02_brochure_securebus.pdf ASSE: Developing A [Bus] System Shutdown Protocol: Planning Recommendations for the Commercial Vehicle Operator. http://www.asse.org/naoshweek02_brochure_sysshutdown.pdf ATA: Trucking Industry Anti-Terrorism Action Plan Measures http://www.truckline.com/insideata/atap/051002_alert.html FMCSA: Motor Carrier Security http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/security/index.asp
Travel Safety and Security
TSA: Are You Prepared for Takeoff? http://www.tsa.gov/public/theme_home1.jsp USDS. Current Travel Warnings http://travel.state.gov/warnings_list.html USDS: Travel Warnings & Consular Information Sheets http://travel.state.gov/travel_warnings.html#Dept%20of%20State
Family and Personal Preparedness
ARC: Homeland Security Advisory System Recommendations for Individuals, Families, Neighborhoods, School, and Businesses http://www.redcross.org/services/disaster/beprepared/hsas.html Individuals: http://www.redcross.org/services/disaster/beprepared/hsas/individual.pdf Families: http://www.redcross.org/services/disaster/beprepared/hsas/family.pdf Neighborhoods: http://www.redcross.org/services/disaster/beprepared/hsas/neighborhoods.pdf Schools: http://www.redcross.org/services/disaster/beprepared/hsas/schools.pdf DHS: http://www.ready.gov/ FEMA: Your Family Disaster Plan http://www.fema.gov/rrr/famplan.shtm NSC: Checklist to Prepare for Home Evacuation. http://www.nsc.org/issues/emerg/familyck.htm
The Hartford offers the following additional tips to transportation companies in “Preparing For and Responding to Incidents of Terrorism.”
Determine your level of risk – high, medium or low.
Determine if your transportation operation could be the target of a threat – high profile, direct or indirect.
Ensure that your security systems are adequate for your type of business and the level of potential threat.
Ensure that access controls are in place for the entire premises, for both visitors and employees.
Develop a notification process for contacting law enforcement and medical providers in the event of an incident.
Establish policies and procedures for reporting unusual circumstances or conditions.
Develop a list of all owned, leased or hired vehicles and equipment.
Establish a method to communicate with drivers or track vehicles.
Verify drivers, unit numbers, bills of lading, etc., for common and contract carriers you use.
Establish a recovery plan to retrieve personnel.
For more on this story, please see the January issue of LCT.