According to weather experts at the NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center, this year there is a 60% chance of an above average hurricane season.
With the focus on a safe re-opening from COVID-19 in the very near future, many businesses may overlook other adverse impact events such as natural disasters.
With the hurricane season running from June till the end of November, Black Mountain Solutions see’s it paramount that organizations & enterprises revisit those Business Continuity & Emergency Response Plans to promote business resilience and reduce potential risks to their critical assets; Staff, Property, Information & Reputation.
With lessons learnt from Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico (& other Caribbean areas) in 2017, and is in most Natural Disasters, one of the fallouts is an increase in crime level.
If we look at examples of the three elements of Crime; Opportunity, Means & Motive below, we can understand the reasons for the potential increase in crime rates.
- OPPORTUNITY; Suggests criminals make rational choices based on high reward with little risk (target selection). As in most cases during a hurricane or other natural disaster, local infrastructures may be damaged and electricity grids knocked out; leaving areas without power and lighting making these areas attractive to common criminals.
- MOTIVE; What’s driving the criminal to commit a crime? Due to consequences of a hurricane, there may be damage and closures to supermarkets and other supply chains leaving communal areas without consumables, food & water, contributing to starvation. People become desperate due to needs & necessities.
- MEANS; Tools and methods used to commit the crime. Impacts from an event such as a natural disaster, i.e. hurricane, Emergency Services & Local Authorities may become overstretched due to the management of the incident, other concerns, possible damage of police vehicles etc. thus allowing criminals to work in an environment where the chance of being apprehended may be significantly less.
Accessibility to certain areas due to flooding, road damage or disruptions to communications may also be other impacts as fallout of a natural disaster or a deterioration in the security situation
It’s almost inevitable that unprepared businesses will face the following challenges (not limited to):
– An increased crime rate, looting, opportunistic crime etc.
– Unavailability, or scarcity of resources available to support staff at location
– Reduced access to local consumables
– Lack of clean water/food for days/weeks/months
– Emotional damage to staff and/or organizations stakeholder(s)
– Increased security risk to an organization’s locations
– Major cyber attacks
– Access to Medical treatment
How can we prepare?
Prior Planning & Preparation best from of defense. Expect the unexpected!!
After landing into San Juan, Puerto Rico & USVI post-incident (several days after full devastation), and from personal experience providing consultancy for a Telecommunication giant during the crisis, I would emphasize that some of the most difficult challenges were sourcing vehicles to transport staff (engineers in this particular case), demand for fuel, fresh food, clean water, communications between the teams and home office, and reliable on the ground intelligence of the security situation.
Has your organization thought of the “what if?” (not limited to but some examples of this may be):
- Who is protecting our assets when there is an increased crime rate and looting in the local areas due to contributing factors? Do we have a Security Service or vetted Security Company?
- What’s our communications plan in the event a hurricane knocks out the islands communications system? Do we have Satellites phones? Is someone responsible for a remote head count and staff accountability?
- Power disrupted at our offices or site location? Back up generators?
- How can we move staff from A to B? Is there sufficient fuel? Are there reserve vehicles in case of damage? Do we have secure transportation readily available?
From an operational level, on the ground in-location, just by having simple measures in place pre-incident such as a relationship with a trusted vehicle provider or security/transport provider, vetted medical centers, bottled water, canned food, fuel reserves, emergency contacts, alternative communications, satellite phones with battery and recharge plans in place, can make life easier on the ground during and post crisis.
Business Continuity Planning – Just how resilient is your current business model to these potential adverse impact driven events?
To achieve the best outcome, business continuity depends on the planning and preparation effort that communes with response and recovery.
Security Services Puerto Rico – Latin America & the Caribbean
Black Mountain Solutions senior directors bear experience in Crisis Management, Disaster Recovery & Support in Puerto Rico, USVI & surrounding areas during Hurricane Maria 2017.
- Security Consultancy in Puerto Rico
- Physical Security in Puerto Rico
- Journey Management in Puerto Rico
- Executive Protection in Puerto Rico
- Threat Analysis & Vulnerability Assessment in Puerto Rico
- Security Training in Puerto Rico
Business Continuity Planning
- Business Impact Analysis (BIA)
- Risk Assessment
- Business Continuity Plan Preparation
- Testing & Exercises
Other Security & Advisory Services
- Review of Current Procedures, Policies & Plans
- Implementation & Start-up support
- Logistical & Operational Support
- Medical Emergency Response
- Evacuation or Hibernation planning
- Security Services
- Intelligence Reporting