There’s a lot going on in the world of physical risk and vulnerability; it’s nearly impossible to keep up with the latest news and developments. We’ll keep you informed with the best content to keep your organization safe and secure. Check out the top news and headlines from the past month.
From Colorado Sun: A shooting on Oct. 10 in Denver during political protests left a man dead and police have taken a security guard working for a television station into custody as a suspect. The incident is being investigated as a homicide. Investigators say the suspect they have in custody is a private security guard. Denver television station 9News reported Saturday night that the guard is a Pinkerton contractor who had been hired to provide security for the station’s reporters at protests.
Our take: As more information has been released about the shooting, it was reported that although he was contracted through the firm Pinkerton, the arrested security guard didn’t have a license to operate as a security guard in Denver. This incident is a perfect illustration of why guards need to be thoroughly vetted before they’re hired — even if a business is working with an agency, that business should do their own due diligence before entrusting its safety (and the safety of others) to any guard.
From The Guardian: The US has seen a record number of hurricanes make landfall this year; Hurricane Delta, a category 4 hurricane at one stage, was the most recent storm to strike land. Delta made an initial landfall in the north of Mexico’s Yucatán peninsula, before turning north and striking Louisiana on October 9. The storm took an identical track to Hurricane Laura only six weeks earlier, which had already severely damaged many buildings in its path.
Our take: There’s not much you can do to prevent a hurricane, let alone a series of them. However there is something you can do — have a business continuity plan. Business continuity plans allow your business to have plans in place that will allow business to continue even in the event of catastrophic weather conditions. That may mean moving an office to a secondary location, for example, or securing goods that are warehoused in a weather-battered area. Even if you’re not in the path of this year’s record-breaking hurricanes, business continuity planning is good business practice.
From the Detroit News: An East Texas county commissioner and three other people have been indicted on charges that they fraudulently solicited mail-in votes from able-bodied voters by claiming they were disabled, often without the voters’ knowledge or consent. Gregg County Commissioner Shannon Brown and three paid workers of Brown’s 2018 Democratic primary campaign — Marlena Jackson, Charlie Burns, and DeWayne Ward — were charged in a 35-page, 134-count indictment returned last week with multiple counts of election-related fraud and record tampering.
Our take: This is a highly contentious election, and while voter fraud may not be as widespread as the politicians would like you to believe, some fraud is happening. To make sure you don’t fall prey to fraud, know the voting laws in your area, read the instructions on your ballot carefully, and if you’re voting by absentee ballot, drop your ballot off at an official dropbox if possible.
October’s Top Security Grants
National Science Foundation: The Security and Preparedness (SAP) Program supports basic scientific research that advances knowledge and understanding of issues broadly related to global and national security. Research proposals are evaluated on the criteria of intellectual merit and broader impacts; the proposed projects are expected to be theoretically motivated, conceptually precise, methodologically rigorous, and empirically oriented. Substantive areas include (but are not limited to) international relations, global and national security, human security, political violence, state stability, conflict processes, regime transition, international and comparative political economy, and peace science. Moreover, the Program supports research experiences for undergraduate students and infrastructural activities, including methodological innovations. The Program does not fund applied research. In addition, we encourage you to examine the websites for the National Science Foundation's Accountable Institutions and Behavior (AIB) and Law and Science (LS) programs. Grant closes: Jan. 15
FEMA: The Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities (BRIC) program makes federal funds available to states, U.S territories, Indian tribal governments, and local communities for pre-disaster mitigation activities. The guiding principles of the program are to: (1) support state and local governments, tribes, and territories through capability- and capacity-building to enable them to identify mitigation actions and implement projects that reduce risks posed by natural hazards; (2) encourage and enable innovation while allowing flexibility, consistency, and effectiveness; (3) promote partnerships and enable high-impact investments to reduce risk from natural hazards with a focus on critical services and facilities, public infrastructure, public safety, public health, and communities; (4) provide a significant opportunity to reduce future losses and minimize impacts on the Disaster Relief Fund (DRF); and (5) support the adoption and enforcement of building codes, standards, and policies that will protect the health, safety, and general welfare of the public, take into account future conditions , and have long-lasting impacts on community risk-reduction, including for critical services and facilities and for future disaster costs. Applicants must submit applications via FEMA Grant Outcomes (FEMA GO) system: https://go.fema.gov. Grant closes: Jan. 29
Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response: This grant, announced on the behalf of the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, (BARDA), is a response to the COVID-19 epidemic. BARDA is interested in proposals from businesses related to COVID-19 tests, vaccines, therapeutics and manufacturing technologies. Grant closes: Oct. 31.
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