Printer Friendly

At your fingertips: a counterterrorism resource.

FOR MOST Security Management readers, the Gulf War's main front lies far away. But what about the war's other possible fronts? With Iraqi President Saddam Hussein's call for terrorist attacks around the world, the nations allied against Hussein could all become battlegrounds in the war's terrorist front.

To assist security managers in this time of heightened caution, Security Management offers here some practical tips. Theoretical articles on terrorism explain terrorists' motivations, helping security managers plan broad strategies. This article, however, focuses on specific antiterrorist tactics, concrete steps security managers can take now to prevent attacks or reduce the damage they cause.

Quick evaluation. As a security manager, you should make sure you can answer the following questions: * Who, if not you, is ultimately responsible for the overall security program? * How are security policies enforced? * What is the current protection plan against fire, power failures, terrorist attacks, bomb threats, and other disasters? * To whom should you turn for emergency assistance in case of fire, medical emergencies, or utility problems? * Does your company hold any defense contracts? Is it affiliated with any defense contractors? Bomb threats by telephone. Certain steps you can take now may make life easier if your company receives a bomb threat: * Gather emergency phone numbers, test them, and then post them in appropriate places around the site. * Teach employees-especially switchboard operators-what to do if they receive a bomb threat by phone. They should remain calm, listen carefully to the caller, write down everything said, review their notes immediately, and then report the call to their supervisor or whomever you designate. * Distribute bomb threat cards that employees can keep under their phones. The cards can remind employees to ask the caller when the bomb is going to explode, where it is, what it looks like, what kind of bomb it is, what will cause it to explode, whether the caller himself or herself placed the bomb, why he or she did so, which group (if any) is claiming responsibility, what the caller's address is, and what his or her name is. Amazingly, some bomb threat callers actually answer some of those questions. Bomb threat cards can also remind employees to write down their guess as to the caller's sex, race, and age as well as any background noises or accents they may have noticed. * Establish an evacuation policy. Decide under what conditions you will call for total evacuation, selective evacuation, or no evacuation. Teach employees what the evacuation signal will be, how to evacuate safely, where to assemble outside the building, and what the signal indicating that it is safe to return will be,

Bomb searches. During a period of heightened security alertness, it is especially important to be ready to conduct a bomb search. A few planning tips follow: * Assemble current floor plans that identify various office spaces by function, such as mail room, CEO's office, copier room, etc. * Obtain a plan of the heating, ventilating, and air conditioning system, including vents, ducts, and other items. * Obtain a plan indicating the location of various elements of your public utilities (gas, electricity, and water). * Establish a crisis command and communication center that contains an emergency power source, flashlights, phone numbers, and building plans. * Remove from public areas any potted plants, ornamental objects, or other items in which a bomb could be hidden. * Seal open spaces above cabinets, bookcases, etc. * Keep maintenance, janitorial, telephone, and electrical closets closed and locked. * Ensure that bathroom doors close and automatically lock after each use. * Empty trash baskets frequently. * Remove executives' names and titles from their office doors. * If a search is necessary, decide whether the search should be conducted by supervisors, occupants of the specific areas being searched, or trained bomb searchers.

Package bombs. Another threat is that posed by explosive devices delivered through the mail. You can take several steps to reduce the likelihood of harm from such devices: * Have mail sent to a post office box, or scan the mail in the mail room before delivering it to its intended recipient. * Suspicious mail can be of any size, shape, or color. Look for overly rigid letters, oil stains on envelopes or wrapping paper, excessive postage, unusual endorsements such as "private" or "personal," lack of return address, or unprofessionally wrapped parcels marked "fragile," "rush," or "do not delay."

Personnel safety. Naturally, a company's most valuable asset is its people. As the security manager, you can suggest several safety tips for employees especially executives, the most likely targets-to follow: * Do not establish routine patterns of travel or social activity. * Do not use the company's name or your title when making hotel, car, or other travel reservations. * Use covered luggage tags (which must be opened to be read) that list your name and the company's address, not the company's name or your personal address. * Consider telephone communication as possibly being electronically compromised. Do not discuss details of your activities or personal information over the phone.

General awareness. The preceding safety tips help only if people practice them. You can increase the likelihood that employees cooperate in the heightened security posture by conducting employee awareness programs. A few suggestions follow: * Teach all employees about the company's counterterrorism policies and procedures. * Reinforce their learning by conducting drills, such as practice bomb threats, evacuations, and bomb searches. * Assure employees that the company is confident in its procedures and its ability to handle the new, potentially dangerous circumstances. Security Management would like to thank Peter J. Lindemann, executive director of Star Architectural Security in New York City, and the staff of the O. P. Norton Information Resources Center at ASIS headquarters in Arlington, VA, for the information then, provided for this article. EMERGENCY TELEPHONE NUMBERS

Keep a list of emergency telephone numbers handy. Here are a few to get you started: * FBI Bomb Data Center-202/324-2662 * US Treasury Department, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms202/566-7777 * US State Department, Public Awareness Division-202/663-0545 * Local police departmentADDITIONAL INFORMATION ON TERRORISM Bomb threats:

Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms, Publications/Records, 650 Massachusetts Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20226. The bureau publishes a pamphlet called Bomb Threats and Physical Security Planning (publication 7550.2), which is available from the bureau's distribution center at 703/ 455-7801. Doing business overseas:

US State Department, Overseas Security Advisory Council, 2216 Gallows Road, Dunn Loring, VA 22027. Phone 703/204-6185. Provides security information to US companies that do business abroad. Offers an electronic bulletin board service. General emergency management:

Federal Emergency Management Agency, 500 C Street, SW, Washington, DC 20472. Phone 202/646-3484. Offers many publications on various emergencies, both natural and manmade. Handling the press:

James E. Lukaszewski, "Good News About Bad News," Security Management, December 1990, pp. 60-67. Terrorism trends:

US Department of State, D/S/SA/PA, Third Floor, SA-10, 2121 Virginia Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 205221003. Publishes Patterns of Global Terrorism annually.

National Criminal Justice Reference Service, Box 6000, Rockville, MD 20850. Phone 800/851-3420. Terrorism tips:

Star Architectural Security, Director of Security Awareness, 238 East 58th Street, New York, NY 10022-2060. Publishes Terrorism Awareness Advisory, a 60-page summary on terrorism and bombings. Protective measures and suspected bomb devices:

FBI Bomb Data Center, Room 8979, Washington, DC 20535. Phone 202/ 324-2662 Roadside car bombings:

Anthony J. Scotti, "A Calculated Assassination," Security Management, November 1990, pp. 26-31. Travel advisories:

US Department of State, Citizen Emergency Center, at 202/647-5225. State Department travel advisories are also available through many travel agents and via modem (314/625-4054). In addition, ASIS members may contact the O. P. Norton Information Resources Center (IRC) at 1655 North Fort Myer Drive, Suite 1200, Arlington, VA 22209. Phone 703/522-5800. The IRC, which can lend materials by mail, has a large collection of books and articles on terrorism. The IRC staff can provide a list of its terrorism collection and a list of Security Management articles on the subject. The IRC can also direct members to other sources of information.
COPYRIGHT 1991 American Society for Industrial Security
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1991 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Title Annotation:safety tips to prevent terrorism
Publication:Security Management
Date:Mar 1, 1991
Previous Article:Dressing for security success.
Next Article:When to say no to technology.

Related Articles
Terror Australis.
The Central Texas counterterrorism working group.
Can security measures stop terrorism?
Fighting terrorism in the 21st century.
Report Proposes Measures Against Terrorism.
The challenge of domestic terroism to American criminal justice. (Feature).
Technology against terrorism.
Regional Defense Counterterrorism Fellows Program.
US Targets Iran, Syria, Hizbullah In Global Terror Survey.

Terms of use | Privacy policy | Copyright © 2018 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters