Evacuate or Shelter Place?
Should a property evacuate or shelter in place during a bomb threat?
How do you respond to a suspicious package on your property?
While no property manager wants to answer these questions, knowing the answer can save lives during an emergency. Recent bombing incidents in Texas are a sobering reminder that property managers must be prepared for all types of emergencies. This includes bomb threats and discovering suspicious packages. The best way to prepare for these scenarios is building an emergency response plan.
Frequency of Bomb and Suspicious Package Incidents
While the events in Texas made national news, they failed to highlight the frequency of bomb and suspicious package situations. In 2016, the most recent year where data is available, the ATF reported 1,537 bomb threats, 439 bombings, and 6,061 suspicious package incidents. This translates to 4 bomb threats and 16 suspicious package reports every day. California and Florida had the highest number of incidents.
Due to these numbers, property managers need to build emergency response plans for their properties. This is especially true for suspicious packages. The number of reported suspicious packages increased 27% from 2015 to 2016. It is important property managers are trained on how to recognize and respond in these situations.
Building Emergency Response Plans
Building emergency response plans requires expert level knowledge of specific situations. This is especially relevant for situations bomb threat and suspicious package plans due to the potential loss of life. Property managers should never create an emergency response plan for a bomb threat or suspicious package. To understand the complexity of emergency response planning check out the 10 Steps for Developing an Emergency Response Plan published by by the security experts at Chesley Brown.
What Can Property Managers Do?
While emergency response plans must be developed by professionals, property managers can review and practice plans frequently. They are responsible for executing the plan in the event of an emergency. This is especially relevant for property management teams with high turnover. Rather than reviewing emergency plans on a set schedule, these teams should review any time a team member turns over.