Even for those of us in the security community, whose job it is to think about worst-case scenarios, the last week has been surreal. Events have been cancelled, schools are closed, businesses are asking employees to work from home, and now several states are ordering public-facing businesses, like restaurants and clubs, to close their doors as well.
If you’re a business owner, you may be wondering what sort of continuity planning you should have in place to protect your business during the coronavirus quarantine. The idea of employees getting sick may rightly make you nervous, as may the idea of empty buildings and abandoned storefronts.
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Think of your people first
Your first priority, as always, is the safety of your employees and your customers. If it is possible, allow your employees to work remotely and give them the tools to do so. If not, break them into small teams, to reduce their risk of infecting others. Also, find ways to pay your employees. They may be working from home, but they’re still working and they need to pay their own bills. Many people are understandably anxious right now, and knowing they have a paycheck on the way will help them stay calm.
Not everyone can work remotely. If your industry requires your workers to be present, follow strict protocols about not allowing people to come to work sick. Put a policy in place and follow it. If someone turns up sick, send them home.
Make sure your facility is cleaned. We don’t often think of maintenance staff as life savers, but often — and especially in cases like this — cleaning staff and maintenance are on the front lines, risking their lives and health to protect ours. Treat them accordingly, giving them fair pay and appropriate supplies and Personal Protective Equipment.
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If your buildings are closed
Sadly, if your building is closed and unstaffed, and you’re worried about your security measures now, there may not be much you can do at this point.
A good security plan doesn’t change based on events. Good continuity planning means that your business will go on no matter what happens, more or less. If you’re worried about someone robbing your abandoned storefront or closed office, do just the things you should be doing: make sure the cameras are rolling, set the alarm, verify the insurance.
If you absolutely need to, drive by and check on the property occasionally. But remember: your life, and the lives of your people, are more important than your property.
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