Risk Analysis and Emergency Planning Can Save Your Life and Fortune.
A risk analysis in its simplest form weighs the likelihood of an event against the severity of impact should the event occur. As violence (and likely litigation) become more common, exploring the totality of risks posed by violence in the workplace or an encounter in your home is more important than ever.
In 1984 an armed man killed 21 people and injured many more at a McDonald’s restaurant in San Ysidro, California. This act was so uniquely horrific for the time, it was found to fall outside of the restaurant’s general duty to protect patrons from reasonably foreseeable criminal acts. Times have changed and so have court rulings.
You may have experienced a “close call” in your business or home and personally felt the nervous discomfort as your mind played through the tragedies that could have been. Thankfully we tend to work through negative thoughts and return to our normal routines. However, in regard to surviving a violent encounter, we may mistakenly underestimate the possible consequences due to our lack of expertise in this domain.
Even if successful in the defense of our actions (individually and as an organization) we need to consider the impact of facing an unplanned multi-thousand dollar legal expense, interruption of business, loss of reputation, effect on our family, etc. Your life’s achievements and future goals for your family require active effort to protect. Caring for and guarding our family also means caring for our employees. The fallout from violence affects everything and everyone. Developing a robust emergency action plan should be a priority. As illustrated by the April 12, 2022 subway active shooter event in NYC, and the D.C. sniper event a short time thereafter, we can’t predict where the next attack will occur. One thing we can predict is that the tactics of active killers and violent individuals will continue to evolve to ensure maximum devastation.
A formalized emergency plan is a true benefit for the employee and employer. It’s a win in every sense and once developed is very easy to administer. The tangible and intangible value of saving lives, maintaining continuity of business and protecting your assets represents one of the greatest returns on investment you will make. Although local law enforcement will often provide some type of “Active Killer” training at no cost, the training is narrowly focused and of minimal value in regard to civil liability and creating an effective emergency action plan.
Conducting an accurate risk analysis and developing an effective plan does require substantial expertise in defense of torts and denial of an active killer's needs.
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