As the details continue to emerge from the October 1st mass shooting at the Route 91 Harvest County Music Festival in Las Vegas, there are ample opportunities for emergency responders and security and hospitality professionals to examine and redefine security protocols. The sad truth is that the greatest gains in response to the unthinkable come out of this kind of review through scrutiny and “lessons learned” exercises.
Recently, an article was published by Dave Roos on the Vegas shooting and the wrong kind of lessons we can learn from this event. Roos’ article does a good job of looking at the event from multiple perspectives without getting caught in the useless cycle of finger pointing that often ensues after a tragic event. There will be plenty of time for the attorneys to do that later.
It’s time to get back to the very basic security principles of situational awareness. Mass shootings– and the terror and destruction that they cause– cannot and should not be minimized in any way, shape, or form. With that said, though, these events are over-the-top from a criticality perspective but they are still a very low probability event.
As Americans, we value our freedoms and our families above all else. Equally so, we resist at great lengths anything we believe will impede our ability to conduct our daily activities. We also have the tendency to set higher than reasonable expectations for the safety of the environments where we work, live and play without considering some of our own roles in protecting ourselves. Life is dangerous and soft targets are very attractive to those who are trying to do the most damage physically and psychologically in a short period of time.
As individuals, we all have a role in our own protection and in the protection of those who cannot protect themselves. In security we say “see something, say something” because little oddities often aggregate into larger anomalies that allow for a measured response to minimize the associated threats. Having an emergency plan that you discuss with friends and family before an event is very helpful and should include a meeting place and not only how you will communicate with each other but also that I expect you to let me know you are ok. Taking notice of the multiple exits from any venue is paramount in an escape and having a general awareness of where areas of shelter are located in close proximity to your location while the lights are on and people are not in a panic is critical. Other considerations include controlling you consumption of alcohol which allows for a heightened level of engagement and clarity is a protective device on many levels. As we learned after the tragic event earlier this month and in countless other security and emergency events, small actions on each of our parts can make a huge difference.
If you’re concerned about your organization’s security system design or have questions about security programs, please contact Protus3 by calling (919) 834-8584 or visiting our contact us page.