In the unfortunate event that protests escalate into riots near your practice, it’s important to be prepared. The following list of best practices can help protect employees who unexpectedly find themselves in an area of civil unrest.
Start with Vigilance
Situational awareness – or an enhanced awareness of one’s surroundings – can play a significant role in staying safe during a period of civil unrest or any crisis. To practice situational awareness, it is important to:
- Pay attention to what is happening around you.
- Learn to recognize when something – or someone – seems unusual or out of place.
- Allow yourself to draw conclusions from your observations.
- Act on your conclusions in a way that will increase your personal safety and the safety of those around you.
Additional Security Considerations for Employees
Beyond remaining vigilant and practicing situational awareness, here are a few additional safety practices to keep in mind:
- Avoid protest areas or large gatherings, if possible.
- Stay calm and maintain a low profile.
- Avoid discussions of the issues at hand.
- Remove all articles from your person that display wealth, including rings, watches, jewelry, etc.
- Identify the location of emergency exits and paths of egress from the area that poses the greatest risk to your safety.
- Quickly and safely remove yourself from the area where an incident may/is/has occurred.
- If you cannot safely remove yourself, seek shelter. Once your safety is secured, contact authorities and comply with their instructions. Do not in any way appear or engage in a threatening manner to authorities.
- Avoid targeted areas of civil unrest, protest, or riot, such as government buildings, police stations (unless seeking assistance), or public places.
- Anticipate cell phone/landline disruption and make preparations for other means of communication.
- Monitor local media and/or other trusted sources for updates.
- Follow your practice's communications plan and/or evacuation process.