Justin Kelley

In recent months from coast to coast, the Nation has experienced an uptick in bomb threats. Schools, retailers, houses of worship, government offices and businesses have all been targets. In just three days, three different Iowa schools received bomb threats requiring evacuation. Last month, a Florida man was arrested after claiming to plant a bomb at a local big box retailer and dozens of Colorado schools and synagogues were evacuated after receiving bomb threats. Statehouses in at least 23 states received a mass email in early January where the sender claimed to have placed explosives inside the state Capitol.

While all these incidents were ultimately deemed hoaxes, the operational disruption is significant and the risk of a genuine threat is always present. There is no one-size-fits all solution to address this rash of bomb threats or any other potential hazard. Strategies are always dependent on the specific organization and environment, yet preparedness is key. Here are seven considerations to stay safe, reduce risk and lessen the opportunity for business disruption.

  1. Engage with local law enforcement. Invite regular and consistent dialogue to become more familiar with proper response protocol given any potential threat. This conversation, which should occur at least annually, will also serve to identify early risk factors and inform security protocol.


  1. Build an internal culture of safety through communication. Dialogue between the stakeholders of any organization is an essential component of any security plan. Discussion should center on the current threats that may cause harm to brand, property and personnel, and identify potential mitigation solutions. With threats, personnel and circumstances continually fluid, these conversations must be held frequently.


  1. Restrict broad access. Any threat or business disruption is lessened by limiting access and controlling who enters your building, whether through personnel or technology. If an organization is confident in their access procedures, it is less likely to be the target of an external bad actor.


  1. Arm human resources with actionable intelligence aimed at subverting potential threats. Proper hiring due diligence, such as background checks, work history reviews and social media screening help reduce exposure. Any potential partnerships or third-party relationships should also be carefully vetted.


  1. Empower your own individuals with training in proper prevention and response tactics, as well as best security practices. They can serve as first-line supervision in identifying unusual behavior or incidents and will also be better equipped to react in an emergency.
  1. Consider effective and proven tools, including explosive detection canines and well-trained, armed security professional in plain clothes, for a heightened security posture. They also provide a strong visual deterrent.


  1. For many organizations that receive a high volume of package deliveries or visitor traffic, X-ray screening managed by properly trained screeners is an effective tool to combat IEDs, weapons and other dangerous contraband.


Nefarious actors will continue to use violent threats and acts of terror to further their political or social agendas. Today’s heightened threat environment requires organizations of every size to maintain an active, rigorous and vigilant security posture. To learn more about how to reduce the threat liability and opportunity for business disruption for your organization, schedule a consultation with one of our subject matter experts by emailing info@msasecurity.net.

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