Threats to your business and employees can come through a variety of means, including violence.

When a violent situation occurs, our instincts alert us to get as far away as possible. But sometimes, evacuating the workplace exposes you and your employees to greater danger than simply staying in place and hiding under a table.

In the second article of this three-post blog series, we will explore Lockdown procedures to help you support your personnel and ensure the safest Lockdown approach is built into your emergency planning process.

1.     What is Lockdown?

Lockdown refers to the act of sheltering staff indoors or in a specific area of a building due to a violent situation that may be occurring inside or outside of the building. Depending on the situation, lockdowns does not often last more than a few hours. During a lockdown, employees should stay away from windows and doors, remain quiet and may even want to shut off the lights. 

2.     When to Lockdown

Lockdowns are implemented for a variety of reasons including when there are risks of unruly protesters or mobs, a police incident, or violence surrounding your businesses premises. Examples of such events may include an active shooter, demonstration, disgruntled employee, or an intrusion. Preparing for a Lockdown is best completed through the development of a Lockdown plan that incorporates employee training and exercises in a mock situation.

3.     Design a Plan and Communicate

Your Lockdown Plan should be designed to minimize the exposure of your employees to violent situations. The plan should address physically locking the building doors or, if building entrances cannot be blocked, moving staff into locations that can be secured from within (i.e. rooms with lockable doors).  Securable locations should be pre-stocked with drinking water and have communication tools in place (i.e. text or instant messaging, cell phone or office phone). Procedures for the accountability of staff and relaying information should be included in the Lockdown Plan.

Like Shelter-in-Place, Lockdown is meant to be a temporary condition – lasting only until the emergency is resolved, it is deemed safe to evacuate, or a longer-term solution can be found. As the situation progresses, emergency services will likely provide suggestions on next steps for employee safety.

Lockdown procedures can be traumatic for employees. Be sure to debrief with personnel after the event. Ensure there are resources and counseling available. Reviewing what worked and opportunities for enhancement will help improve your emergency plan.

Interested in Learning More?

If you haven’t done so already, check out our article on Shelter-in-Place.

Next up, we’ll be publishing the third post in this three-part series on March 15th.
The article will compare Shelter-in-Place and Lockdown procedures, with a complimentary infographic take-away to help get your business started.

In the meantime, please feel free to contact CCEM Strategies if you have any questions about Shelter-in-Place and Lockdowns.