Association Connection - Summer 2016 - (Page 12)
SAFE & SOUND:
SECURITY IN TODAY'S WORLD
Preparedness is key when dealing with
security issues-both big and small.
By Tyra W. Hilliard, Ph.D., JD, CMP
According to Meetings & Conventions'
Global Planner (2013), terrorism is the most
pressing concern among meeting professionals who plan global meetings. Yet according
to the Centers for Disease Control, terrorism accounts for less than 2 percent of the
deaths of U.S. travelers in foreign countries.
The big killer? Road traffic.
Which goes to show you-sometimes it's
not the big things you need to worry about.
It's the little things. Safety and security is
very much this way. Certainly if you are
going to a country with political unrest,
you have big security concerns. If you are
holding a meeting in the midst of an Ebola
outbreak, you have serious safety issues.
But for the average meeting in the average place, you have average safety and
Instead of worrying about having a slick,
perfect-bound Crisis Preparedness Plan with
150 alphabetized tabs, an elaborate phone
tree, 27 8×10 glossy photographs with circles and arrows and a paragraph on the back
of each one (Arlo Guthrie, anyone?), emergency procedures for everything short of an
alien encounter, and a table of contents rivaling the FEMA 141 Emergency Management
Guide for Business and Industry (see how I
slipped that in there?), meeting professionals
should focus on integrating crisis preparedness into the everyday processes of meeting
planning and management.
Planning for meeting safety and security
starts at the beginning of the meeting
planning process. Meeting planners should
include safety and security criteria in RFPs,
whether verbal or written. Some examples
of issues that should be included along with
requests for rates, dates, and space are:
* VIP suites located on different floors
so that executives are not grouped
together in case of fire, bombing, or
* Location of the nearest hospital and
24-hour emergency dental clinic.
* How many security personnel are scheduled on property for each shift (e.g.,
700-1,500, 1,500-2,300, 2,300-700) on
the days of your meeting.
* Whether the property has automated
external defibrillators (AEDs) on-site.
If so, how many, where they are kept,
who has access to them, who can use
them, and how you can get them to
your meeting space if there is a sudden
cardiac arrest incident at your meeting.
* Whether there are different alarms
(e.g., a fire alarm and a shelter in place
or tornado alarm), what they sound like
and the appropriate response for each.
For example, sometimes the response
is, "Stay where you are and wait for an
announcement." Sometimes the response
is, "Proceed immediately in an orderly
fashion to the nearest exit." You don't
want to be waiting if you should be exiting!
* Whether there is a public address (PA)
system in the hotel over which an emergency announcement will be made following an alarm and if so, (a) whether
it can be heard in guest rooms and
(b) meeting rooms or only in public areas.
S u m m e r 2 016
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Association Connection - Summer 2016
A Message from the President
The New Association Meeting
Safe & Sound: Meeting Security in Today’s World
Powerful Panels That Engage Your Audience
Successful Retreat Secrets
TNSAE’s Industry Education Day
Destination Planner: Asheville, N.C.
Index of Advertisers/Advertiser.com
Association Connection - Summer 2016