clearpathalerts http://clearpathalerts.com Scalable intelligence technology built for the 360 degree needs of today's challenges Wed, 03 Oct 2018 19:31:37 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.8 136080841 THE MEADOW EFFECT: http://clearpathalerts.com/the-meadow-effect/ Mon, 10 Sep 2018 13:46:51 +0000 http://clearpathalerts.com/?p=4474 Meadow, just 18 years young, was killed in the Marjory Stoneman Douglas February 14th massacre.

Following the attack, Meadow’s father, Andy Pollack, was frequently in the news as an emotional and passionate advocate for improved school safety and security.  I was later introduced to Andy, and while I never had the pleasure to know Meadow, it was clear from Andy’s description that this courageous girl was destined to lead.

Safety and security is a broad field which includes hardware and technology and the human factor. While equipment such as locks, cameras, alarms, or ID cards and technology are key elements of a sound program, they are only as effective as those who operate them.  Schools working toward comprehensive solutions which integrate emergency preparedness planning with hardware and/or technology for maximum impact can accomplish this when they:

1.) Ensure that the best security and safety equipment for the school is selected, maintained and operated correctly.

2.) Focus on emergency planning management to include the development and training of proper emergency response protocols and communication strategies.

These two steps will mitigate eventual crises such as the horrific event that occurred at Marjory Stoneman Douglas.

Emergency planning and practice are critical additions to security hardware/technology as they lead to proper response. Lack of preparedness planning and training may cause stakeholders to emotionally react leading to chaos, misuse of technology, poor communication and an un-coordinated effort among faculty, staff, students and parents.

Andy Pollack’s description of his daughter inspired me to create an easy-to-remember, pro-active security and safety mnemonic in Meadow’s honor.  Using a student’s name, in particular Meadow’s, just might motivate schools to consider both appropriate security hardware and technology solutions and commit to the important work of emergency planning management.

The six components of The Meadow Effect are outlined in more detail below.

The MEADOW Effect: 

While not necessarily in sequential order, these are the essential components of a comprehensive emergency preparedness program.

The MEADOW Effect

M         MITIGATE

E          EDUCATE

A          ANNOUNCE

D          DETER, DELAY, DENY and DETECT (The Four D’s of Security)

O          OBSERVE and REPORT

W         WILLINGNESS TO ACT

MITIGATE:

School leaders need to know, understand and resolve the school’s vulnerabilities or weaknesses that may lead to injury, loss or damage.  Examples of vulnerabilities are a non-functioning public announcement system, broken door locks, unenforced access control policies or insufficient training for security personnel.  On the other hand, threats or hazards like tornadoes or man-caused incidents cannot be controlled, but a carefully constructed and practiced safety, security and emergency preparedness program will mitigate damage from these threats.

EDUCATE: 

Education crosses all components of the MEADOW Effect as people cooperate when they know and understand the what, why and how of the emergency plan.  Safety, security and emergency preparedness education and training will empower school stakeholders (students, teachers, staff, visitors, parents, etc.) to follow the coordinated emergency plan.   At a minimum, this would include teaching the cadre of response protocols and drills including the practice of complex drills.  An example of a three-part complex drill would be to call an evacuation.  Once all stakeholders are accounted for, a reverse evacuation is initiated (back into the safety of the buildings) followed by a lockdown.  The most important part of all emergency drills is the emphasis on learning their purpose and how to do them correctly for maximum safety.

ANNOUNCE:

A school can have a robust emergency preparedness training and education program, but if they lack the means to announce and communicate the emergency protocol in response to an incident then chaos will likely ensue. Whatever communication method a school uses, the announcements should be clear and concise, leaving little room for confusion. To announce a response protocol, industry best practice suggests not to use color codes such as red, black or yellow as the stress of the event may cause stakeholders to become confused.  Instead, the recommendation is to use plain language such as “lockdown, we have an active assailant situation” or “evacuation, there is smoke in Building Five.” When planning how to communicate for emergency announcements, schools should have a back-up plan in the event one method fails.

 “See something, say something” is a phrase frequently used to encourage school members to report suspicious behavior. This effort is enhanced when schools create systems for stakeholders to take action and announce those observations to the appropriate school leadership.  Education on what to report and how to report will encourage school personnel to take this important step.  For example, reporting suspicious on-line and social media postings has saved children from something as serious as suicide.  Access to announcement tools such as cell phones, tablets, apps, radios, etc. provide stakeholders a way to announce possible threats to school leadership who can initiate the appropriate response protocol.  Timely responses to serious announced threats can result in saving lives.

DENY…DETER…DELAY…DETECT (The Four Ds of Security):

The four D’s are frequently referred to as the principles of security and crime prevention.  The use and purpose of any security device, technology or person in a security role are tied to one or more of the four D’s.  For example, a metal detector used correctly and in a proper location would be to deter, detect and possibly deny an assailant entry while properly maintained and positioned door locks would be to deter and delay.  Again, like the other components of the MEADOW EFFECT all school stakeholders’ benefit from proper training in the use and application of security related devices and technology.  Likewise, people in a security role or security support function will respond best to an incident or threat if they have had sufficient prior training and practice.

OBSERVE & REPORT:

Schools are busy places, but our current climate requires that all school personnel be vigilant in observing surroundings. Training and education will help all to know what constitutes vulnerabilities and threats and what to look for.  Once personnel learn to be more attentive, they can more effectively activate the school’s plan for see something/say something leading to the most appropriate response from the incident management team.  Sometimes its just seconds of taking action that averts a crisis.

WILLINGNESS TO ACT:

Leadership requires a courageous and decisive stance to protect students, faculty and staff. While school leaders will know how to lead the curriculum, create opportunities for teacher professional learning and manage the school building, they are less likely to know as much about school safety, security and emergency preparedness.  Training is, then, essential, as increased knowledge will correlate with a courageous willingness to act.  Seeking advice from knowledgeable security experts and committing school resources to emergency planning management will increase the likelihood that leaders will respond with knowledge and confidence to an incident before it becomes a crisis.

Meadow and the other 16 innocent victims who lost their lives at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas massacre are surely motivation enough for schools to take charge and apply The MEADOW Effect. If the six components of The MEADOW Effect are followed, communities will feel more consolidated and prepared to respond to any inevitable threat.

My thanks and appreciation are offered to Andy Pollack and his wife, Julie, who reviewed this article and approved the use of Meadow’s name in the MEADOW EFFECT.

 

Mike Johnson is an Advisor with the Police Foundation’s Averted School Violence program and the CEO of Clearpath Alerts, a Florida based company that specializes in emergency planning management and decision support technology for schools, businesses, institutions and events.  He is also a Certified Protection Professional as designated by ASIS International.              

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SUMMER TRAVEL SAFETY TIPS http://clearpathalerts.com/summer-travel-safety-tips/ Thu, 03 May 2018 13:35:14 +0000 http://clearpathalerts.com/?p=4268 With Summer just around the corner, travelers are making plans for their next adventure. Whether you’re exploring your own country or going abroad, enjoy your time to the fullest while keeping safety in mind. By following these common-sense tips, you will stay safer on your journey.

BEFORE YOU GO:

Travel Insurance: Traveling soon? Consider travel insurance to mitigate the expense associated with possible injury and theft abroad. There are a variety of options such as travel health insurance, medical evaluation insurance, trip cancelation insurance and baggage/property insurance. While insurance may be an unwanted expense, unexpected things frequently happen, so get to know your options and choose those that are right for you.

Stop Mail Delivery: Before you leave on your trip, you can easily stop mail delivery online through the post office. An overflowing mailbox or packages left on your doorstop signals that no one has been home recently. Stopping mail and delivery service will help ensure that sensitive information such as bills, tax or credit card statements don’t get into the wrong hands.

Keep a record of your important documents: Before you go on your trip, write down all the information from your credit and debit cards, driver’s license, medical insurance and other important documents. This will help you figure out who to call after a theft and ease the replacement process.

IN YOUR HOTEL

Use the room safe: Bring only what you need and lock up the rest. The hotel safe is frequently provided for your valuables and sensitive documents or a safe deposit box provided by the front desk.

Know who is at your door, making sure to check through the peep hole on the door before opening it.

OUT AND ABOUT

Learn common travel scams. While many think it can’t possibly happen to them, too frequently even the most savvy and seasoned travelers are targeted with a scam. Whether it be the “found” or “free” ring or bracelet, the finger trap, street games, “broken” taxi meters and other taxi scams, fake tickets, or too helpful strangers. Every country has its own unique scams to watch for so be sure to educate yourself prior to your trip and always practice situational awareness.

Walk or commute with friends: Whenever possible, bring along a friend or two for added safety.

Know Where You Are: Plan your route before leaving your hotel. Avoid opening and studying a map on the sidewalk; it’s a clear sign you are unfamiliar with the area and heightens your risk of being targeted. (Duck into a store or business along the way if necessary).

Don’t Jaywalk: Not only could you end up getting a ticket, but you could easily end up flattened by traffic. Use crosswalks and proceed with caution when crossing streets.

Panhandlers are best ignored, and the easiest way to divert panhandlers is to avoid eye contact. Generally, even the most persistent request can be deterred with a firm “No”.

Pickpockets and swindlers often work in teams, where one person will cause a commotion, either by falling or dropping something, while the other person pickpockets unsuspecting folks who try to help or stop to look.

Enjoy, BUT beware the crowded street performances which can provide pickpockets a similar opportunity. While it is fine to watch the musicians or artists, be aware of your surroundings and where your wallet and valuables are.

Men should carry their wallets in their front pants pocket rather than in their back pockets. Women should tightly hold their purse to their front or side.

When in bars or restaurants, keep your purse, bag or other valuables within your line of sight. Never hang your purse or bag on the back of a chair or put it underneath the table.

Don’t Travel in Unmarked Taxi Cabs: Commonly referred to as “Gypsy Cabs,” these unmarked taxi cabs are usually non-metered, non-insured and non-licensed. Avoid a rip-off – or something worse – by denying a trip in these unmarked taxi cabs. Once you’ve chosen your car, ensure the meter is on and functioning. If the driver claims it is cheaper not to run the meter, get out and find another taxi.

TECH TIPS

Avoid Unsecured/Insecure WiFi: Many shops and restaurants will make wifi available for their customers for free, but be sure that the network shows the Padlock icon before connecting to it. This may mean asking an employee or checking a menu or receipt for the password to connect. The padlock icon means the network is encrypted and it is less likely that a hacker will be able to intercept your data.

Password protect phones and other devices: Your phone and other devices store sensitive information, such as access to your emails, and possibly banking or credit card information. Less than 50 percent of us password-protect our smartphones, making it easy for thieves to access that information and roughly only 25 percent of us have a tracking device set up in case our phones get stolen.

Not only should you set up a password to unlock your device, but you should create a strong, unique password and change it regularly. Enable location tracking and install a wiping software so you can track down your phone or destroy the data on it if it’s ever stolen. iPhone users can utilize the Find My iPhone features built into iOS  and android users can go through the setup for tracking lost devices which includes Google’s own Find My Device app (not built in like iOS, but Free).

Wait to Post on Social Media: Posting information and photos of your location, schedule or other travel information in real-time can by risky. Sharing your agenda or location on social media allows potential thieves to keep track of where you are, making it easier for them to time a crime. Instead, wait to post about your trip until you get home.

No one likes to think about theft, scams or injury when they’re on vacation. By practicing these preventative measures and elevating your situational awareness, you can reduce the risks associated with travel while increasing your enjoyment in the long run. Safe and happy travels!

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ANN STORCK CENTER BOOSTS COMMITMENT TO SECURITY WITH CLEARPATH ALERTS’ TOTALITY™ MOBILE TECHNOLOGY http://clearpathalerts.com/annstorckboostssecuritywithtotality/ Sun, 08 Apr 2018 14:29:40 +0000 http://clearpathalerts.com/?p=4221 NON-PROFIT ROLLS OUT MOBILE TECHNOLOGY FOR ENHANCED SAFETY, REAL-TIME COMMUNICATION, AND CROWDSOURCED INTELLIGENCE REPORTING

Fort Lauderdale, FL, March 28, 2018:  In an ongoing commitment to the safety, preparedness and security of their employees and the children and adults they serve, the Ann Storck Center (ASC) has selected Clearpath Alerts’ TOTALITY™ mobile technology to enhance safety and communication on its campus. As long-time users of Clearpath Alerts’ online Emergency Preparedness Management (EPM) platform, the addition of the integrated mobile technology was a natural evolution of their safety strategy.

“More than ever, our commitment to fostering a safe community is unwavering. Over the years, I’ve appreciated the quality and depth of Clearpath Alerts’ technology and subject matter expertise. The ability to customize our safety plan and protocols, stay prepared and reduce or eliminate potential risks on campus has given us greater confidence and peace of mind,” notes ASC’s Chief Executive Officer Charlotte Mather-Taylor. “I am impressed by the integrated mobile app and, with its communication and geo-targeted reporting features, feel our team is more connected and prepared to respond quickly and appropriately should we ever need to.”

Clearpath Alerts’ TOTALITY™ technology includes an interactive online Emergency Preparedness Management (EPM) platform which enables users to create, update, track and manage their custom emergency plans. The EPM is integrated with the TOTALITY™ mobile app which enables the development of interdependent groups, provides real-time communication capability in a closed environment, crowdsourced intelligence via photo and video reporting tools, geo-located duress signals and a variety of other options based on the user’s permission level.

Seeing the growing need for accessible, customizable safety solutions that serve corporations, events, schools and other institutions at a larger scale, Clearpath Alerts developed TOTALITY. Their team of entrepreneurs, technologists and subject matter experts have amassed more than a century of collective experience and high-level government training mitigating risk and keeping dignitaries, international schools, American embassies, events and Fortune 100 businesses better prepared and able to respond to natural and man-made incidents.

 

About Ann Storck Center

Ann Storck Center (ASC) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to enriching the lives of children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. ASC has been serving the community for over 65 years, originally being known as the Pediatric Care Center, then in 1981 becoming known as ASC. The Center cares for the most medically fragile and vulnerable individuals in South Florida. It strives to create an exceptional living and learning environment which helps to discover abilities and builds independence. The dedicated staff provides compassionate and caring services for the more than 300 children and adults daily and is commended for their commitment to excellence. ASC continues to raise the bar and set standards of care for others to follow. For up-to-date information, please visit  www.annstorckcenter.orgwww.facebook.com/AnnStorckCenter, on Instagram and Twitter @AnnStorckCenter.

 

About Clearpath Alerts: Clearpath Alerts is a leading safety technology company which provides domestic and international schools, institutions, corporations, and event producers with online and mobile solutions that enable intelligent security, emergency planning, preparedness and response, risk mitigation and real-time communication. Clearpath Alerts’ TOTALITY platform was developed by a team of safety, marketing, business and technology experts with more than 100 years of combined experience keeping diplomats, embassies, businesses and schools around the world safer. The technology was built on the premise that the preventive and preparedness aspects of the emergency planning cycle combined with dynamic mobile communication tools, crowdsourcing intelligence, and data and analytics better ready users for the majority of emergencies they may face. For more information on Clearpath Alerts and TOTALITY visit www.clearpathalerts.com or email marketing@clearpathalerts.com.

 

 

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EIGHT TIPS TO INCREASING YOUR SAFETY WHILE SHOPPING http://clearpathalerts.com/eight-tips-to-increasing-your-safety-while-shopping/ Tue, 27 Mar 2018 18:48:47 +0000 http://clearpathalerts.com/?p=4205 This week, news was released of a massive fire safety failure that allowed a blaze to engulf a crowded shopping center in the Siberian city of Kemerovo, killing an estimated 64 people. As we review the tragic turn of events, we turn to increasing awareness of your personal safety.

  1. Be aware of your surroundings: Make practicing situational awareness part of your everyday life. When parking your car at a mall or shopping center, select a well-lit space in a crowded part of lot with close proximity to an entrance, whenever possible. When you return to your car, scan your surroundings and trust your instincts. If you feel uncomfortable, ask for help. If something feels off, speak with mall security and don’t hesitate to ask a security guard to walk you to your car upon leaving.
  2. Stay Focused: Avoid the distraction of texting, phone calls and headphones while you’re shopping or walking to and from the mall.
  3. Hide valuables: Once parked, place any valuables such as cell phones, shopping bags, gifts, out of plain view. Place them under your seats or locked in the trunk of your car to lessen the potential of a break in.
  4. Leave your purse at home: Consider leaving your purse at home and placing your keys, money, ID and credit cards in your front pocket. If you must carry a purse, consider a cross body messenger style bag.
  5. Your exit strategy: As you walk through the mall, keep an eye out for the nearest exit. Should you ever need to evacuate the building quickly, you’ll want to know your closest options.
  6. See Something, Say Something: If you see something suspicious, don’t hesitate to report it to mall security.
  7. Leaving safely: Don’t hesitate to ask mall security to escort you to your vehicle if you are hesitant about returning to your car alone. When walking to your car, don’t linger. Walk with focus and purpose with your keys in your hand to ensure you can get into your car easily and use your keys as a weapon, if needed. Once in the car, lock your doors, fasten your seat belts and leave the mall parking lot. Parking lots are not the environments to check your phone, make calls or relax.
  8. Bring a friend: When in doubt, don’t go it alone! Bring a friend along for added enjoyment, and safety!

 

 

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SECURING OUR SCHOOLS: CREATE SAFER ENVIRONMENTS FOR CHILDREN, TEACHERS AND FACULTY USING THE 4-Ds http://clearpathalerts.com/securingourschools/ Sat, 10 Mar 2018 17:15:56 +0000 https://globimus.com/clearpathalerts/?p=1 The recent tragedy at the Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School has evoked emotions not seen since the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in 2012. One element that hasn’t changed are the opinions as to how to prevent horrors like this from happening again.

Some leaders talk about school-based security measures and opinions include arming teachers, hiring more “resource officers” or armed security personnel, and reinforcing schools with high fences and walls and bullet-proof glass. The State of Florida, for example, has proposed a $400 million budget for this.

No one argues that we must do everything possible to protect our children, and premise protection is critical. However, we should insist on steps that are appropriate for a school environment and maintain a warm, trusted, and connected place of learning where students can thrive. Moreover, even banks built like fortresses with armed personnel frequently are robbed.

The sad truth is that if someone wants to harm or murder innocents, they will find a way to do it.

So how can school leaders achieve a more holistic and secure environment? They must understand that physical security is one part of a larger integrated process called the “crisis planning and management cycle.” This cycle consists of prevention and mitigation, preparedness, response, recovery, and communication.

While extreme acts of violence may not be preventable, we can mitigate them with the 4Ds: Deny, Deter, Delay or Detect. They incorporate school access controls with smart card IDs, layered perimeter security, multiple methods of communication within the school and grounds, and locks on classrooms, indoor assembly areas, and office doors. They also rely on policies that include anti-bullying, caring school communities, and comprehensive and tested crisis response plans.

As parents and school boards continue to pressure school leaders to do more, remember that schools are unique environments. The physical security found with a fortress alone is not the answer. Each school must take a holistic view of the entire crisis planning and management model when addressing school security and safety, while maintaining a welcoming educational environment where children can thrive.

Written by Michael L. Johnson, a Certified Protection Professional and CEO of Clearpath Alerts. He can be reached at mikejohnson@clearpathalerts.com.

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EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS: http://clearpathalerts.com/emergencypreparednesslessonplan/ Mon, 26 Feb 2018 13:55:13 +0000 http://codeless.co/tower/creative/?p=157 In the wake of recent school tragedies, now is the time to refocus on critical skills and procedures for a response to an emergency. A great lesson for students, staff and faculty is how to remain safe and out of harm’s way when faced with an imminent threat.

Here’s a lesson plan to get your started.

Lesson Purpose:

 Identify, practice and update critical skills and response procedures for emergencies.

Preparing the Learners:

Review your school’s emergency plan and emergency response protocols.

Input: 

Questions:

  • How does your plan reflect the current threats and hazards your school faces?
  • What protocols are needed to address your threats and hazards? If you are uncertain about the correct protocols seek assistance from a knowledgeable school emergency preparedness expert.
  • What are some ways you will test your protocols to ensure the response protocols are safe and viable?

Spend the time necessary to align all protocols with your threats and hazards.

Practice:

Crisis Management Team Practice: Time to test your plan using the protocols. Create a simulation of a possible emergency scenario.  Involve only the Crisis Management Team in this scenario. A possible scenario could be: a fire breaks out in the school cafeteria kitchen during high school lunch.  Based on your existing protocols how would you respond? Create and practice a simulation for every protocol in your plan. Follow the simulations with a walk-through of each protocol. Try them out first with the Crisis Management Team.

Whole Faculty and Staff Practice:  This time extend the practice to the entire staff and faculty without students being in school. Be sure that all staff and faculty have been properly briefed on the response protocols. If your school uses Quick Action Guides, which are booklets printed or downloaded to mobile devices detailing the specific actions to take during the various response protocols, make sure they are up to date and distributed. Practice at a minimum, the following response protocols:

  • Evacuation
  • Reverse evacuation
  • Duck & cover
  • Shelter-in-place
  • Lock-down
  • Off-campus evacuation

Other threat or hazard specific response protocols developed by your CMT and leadership cadre should be practiced with the appropriate staff and faculty members. Some protocol examples are mental health concerns, workplace violence, bullying, or sexual abuse.

Whole School Practice: The final preparedness training phase involves the student body with a series of campus-wide drills that are scheduled throughout the school year.  While the most common school drill worldwide may be the evacuation (or often referred to as a fire drill), a more valuable response protocol to practice, and one that may save more lives, would be the reverse-evacuation. This protocol is used when an imminent threat occurs while the students are on the playing fields, having lunch in the cafeteria, outside, or moving from one class to the next. The reverse-evacuation protocol is rarely practiced but it should be given that threatening situations can occur when all students are out of their classrooms

Assessment and Closure:

Ask faculty and staff to provide feedback on what worked and what needs improvement. This broadens the perspective of the Crisis Management Team. While the CMT and other key staff members may have a more comprehensive understanding of overall emergency preparedness, no one knows the environment better than the teachers and staff who work and access their individual classrooms, areas and offices on a day-to-day basis. Seek, listen to, and incorporate their advice!

Finally, be sure to document your drill activity noting all participants, date and time, and including positive outcomes and areas for improvement. This will help you improve your plan for the safety of your students, school personnel and visitors. Also, some accreditation agencies and insurance companies require documentation that your emergency preparedness drills have taken place. This record keeping will provide the required evidence.

Tomorrow’s Lesson: Complex Drill Practice:

The best emergency training for the school is practice of more complex drills. An example of a complex drill would be to start your scenario when many of your students are outside of their normal classrooms, like at lunch or PE classes. Commence with a reverse-evacuation back to safe areas inside. Then call for a lock-down.  After the school is locked down, the CMT should initiate an “evacuation” protocol. This type of drill, while complex, is also very realistic of the type of multi-threat scenario you could face.  This whole drill lasts approximately thirty minutes, but in that time you have practiced three of your protocols at one time.  Practice one of these complex drills quarterly and you will have a well-prepared and well-rehearsed team, including students, staff, faculty and leadership!

One Final Tip For Your Emergency Preparedness Lesson Plan:

Again, after conducting any type of training or drills always seek comments from your stakeholders (to include your students), where lessons learned and additional best practices can be incorporated into your emergency preparedness plans and protocols. Online and mobile technology provide real-time, dynamic emergency planning and communication tools when seconds count.

Clearpath Alerts TOTALITY is the most comprehensive preparedness, situational awareness and geolocated dynamic mobile communication technology available. To schedule a demo for your school, contact us at marketing@clearpathalerts.com. 

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IS YOUR SCHOOL PRACTICING COMPREHENSIVE SECURITY AND CRISIS PLANNING? http://clearpathalerts.com/schoolcrisisplanning/ Fri, 23 Feb 2018 12:46:47 +0000 http://codeless.co/tower/creative/?p=1 Recent events in the domestic and international school communities have highlighted the broad threats facing students and institutions globally. As a safety technology company we specialize in providing tools that mitigate risks within the international school community, at live events and in corporations. The current tragedies have prompted us to further enhance our TOTALITY platform to make certain we specifically address important issues with regard to on and off campus child protection.

Leaders within the international school community are generally aware of the threats and hazards impacting the safety and security of their students, staff, information and facilities. They can be manifested in a variety of categories to include natural sources, technological threats, infrastructure, biological and finally, an assortment of human elements including civil unrest, bullying and criminal activity such as sexual predators. While each threat and hazard may have unique characteristics, correcting vulnerabilities and implementing thorough, consistent and coordinated policies and procedures can help mitigate or prevent many school risks. Addressing vulnerabilities through policies and procedures is part of the prevention and mitigation phase of the five-step school crisis planning cycle, which also includes preparation, response, recovery and communication.

Is your school practicing comprehensive security and crisis planning? Where does your school stand in the area of prevention and mitigation? Take this quick assessment to help identify your potential vulnerabilities.

YES NO
Do you conduct comprehensive suitability investigations to include multi-jurisdictional police records checks, employment verifications and reference interviews on all personnel who have or could potentially have unsupervised access with your students?
Do you have and enforce access control policies at your facility?
Do you utilize identification media for permanent staff, contractors and visitors while they are on campus?
Are non-vetted contract workers escorted while on campus and in the presence of students?
Does your school have a written and practiced social/emotional curriculum that promotes student voice?
Do you have a method known to students, staff and parents to report, and procedures for promptly investigating, reports of suspicious or inappropriate activity/behavior?
Do you utilize sufficient and balanced teams of vetted chaperones for after hours and off campus activities?
Do you have a child protection team?

If you answered NO to any of the above questions, NOW is the time to strengthen your crisis planning and security program.

Development, implementation and enforcement of a broad set of policies (what you do and do not do) and procedures (how you do it) addressing the above questions will reduce the opportunity and means of individuals and circumstances affecting the safety and security of international schools. Within TOTALITY, schools are easily able to manage their policies and protocols.

In addition to policies and procedures you can further strengthen your prevention and mitigation program by:

  • Ensuring your campus has a defined and closed perimeter made up of walls, anti-climb fences, or natural barriers with lockable gates on all entrances and exits.
  • Monitoring your ingress and egress points to allow for easier supervision and detection of unwanted and/or suspicious persons.
  • Supplementing physical controls with the use of appropriate technology and equipment (cameras, lighting, turnstiles, locks, alarms, and identification badges).
  • Restricting access to areas that should be off-limits to students (maintenance rooms, equipment storage areas, staff areas, storage closets, and unused sections of your campus or buildings).

These relatively basic steps, practiced in a consistent and deliberate manner by all stakeholders will not eliminate all of your risks, but WILL mitigate and reduce them.

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THE ASSOCIATION FOR THE ADVANCEMENT OF INTERNATIONAL EDUCATION TAPS TOTALITY BY CLEARPATH ALERTS AS THE OFFICIAL SAFETY APP OF #AAIE18 http://clearpathalerts.com/the-association-for-the-advancement-of-international-education-taps-totality-by-clearpath-alerts-as-the-official-safety-app-of-aaie18/ Tue, 06 Feb 2018 16:22:04 +0000 http://clearpathalerts.com/?p=4244 The Association for the Advancement of International Education (AAIE) kicks off its annual leadership conference in Manhattan with the addition of safety technology TOTALITY by Clearpath Alerts.

NEW YORK, NY, February 06, 2018 — The Association for the Advancement of International Education (AAIE) kicks off its annual leadership conference in Manhattan with the addition of safety technology TOTALITY by Clearpath Alerts. AAIE is a non-profit, international organization that partners with educational institutions and associations worldwide to exchange international ideas, resources, and research that help develop and improve international education and diversify and expand school leadership capacity.

“The safety and comfort of our members and staff are always our top priority,” notes Yolanda Murphy-Barrena, Executive Director and CEO of AAIE. “By placing situational awareness and communication tools in their hands, we feel better prepared, informed and empowered to respond properly and immediately should we need to.”

TOTALITY is comprised of an interactive online Emergency Preparedness Management (EPM) dashboard which enables users to create, update, track and manage their custom emergency plans. The EPM is paired with the TOTALITY mobile app which fosters real-time communication in a closed environment, crowdsourced intelligence via photo and video reporting tools, geolocated duress signals and a variety of other options based on the user’s permission level.

Seeing the growing need for accessible, customizable safety solutions that serve corporations, events, schools and other institutions at a larger scale, Clearpath Alerts developed TOTALITY. Their team of entrepreneurs, technologists and subject matter experts have amassed more than a century of collective experience and high-level government training mitigating risk and keeping dignitaries, international schools, American embassies, events and Fortune 100 businesses better prepared and able to respond to natural and man-made incidents.

About The Association for the Advancement of International Education (AAIE): AAIE is a non-profit, membership based international organization that partners with educational institutions and associations worldwide to exchange international ideas, resources and research that help develop and improve international education and diversify and expand school leadership capacity. We invite you to first explore our mission, history and extensive offering of diverse learning events and resources available on this website to learn more about AAIE, and then engage with our global community of educational leaders online or at one of the many events throughout the year hosted in a location near you! To learn more, visit: www.aaie.org.

About Clearpath Alerts: Clearpath Alerts’ TOTALITY is the official safety app of #AAIE18. Clearpath Alerts provides domestic and international schools, institutions, corporations, and event producers with dynamic technology solutions that enable intelligent security, emergency planning, preparedness and response, risk mitigation and real-time communication. Clearpath Alerts’ TOTALITY online and mobile platform was developed by a team safety, security, marketing, business and technology experts with more than 100 years of combined experience keeping high ranking government officials, embassies, businesses and schools around the world safer. Our technology was built on the premise that the preventive and preparedness aspects of the emergency planning cycle combined with dynamic mobile communication tools, crowdsourcing intelligence, and data and analytics better ready schools, institutions, businesses and events for the majority of emergencies they may face. For more information on Clearpath Alerts and TOTALITY visit www.clearpathalerts.com or email marketing@clearpathalerts.com.

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SEVEN STEPS TO OPTIMIZING YOUR SECURITY GUARD PROGRAM http://clearpathalerts.com/seven-steps-to-optimizing-your-security-guard-program/ Thu, 01 Feb 2018 15:32:00 +0000 http://clearpathalerts.com/?p=4189 In addition to their traditional duties, school leaders, business managers and operations staff members often have supervisory responsibility for the security guards. Additionally, leaders and managers of schools, institutions and businesses that do not employ a dedicated security or risk manager are frequently assigned these responsibilities though many lack specific experience or security training.

Fortunately, optimizing effectiveness and minimizing opportunities for poor performance, non-delivery of service, and overcharging is achievable. A relatively small investment of time in targeted oversight and a demonstration of interest goes a long way to ensure a top performing guard force, regardless of whether guards are contractually provided or are members of an in-house “proprietary” force.

Steps to Optimizing Security Guard Service

To receive maximum benefit from a guard program requires effort, but the rewards are worth it in presenting a professional image and safeguarding your institution. The following are industry “best practices” you can take to optimize guard force effectiveness:

  • Verify that all guards are properly licensed and have been adequately screened and vetted.
  • Check the training records of guards and attend and audit training sessions where possible.
  • Ensure that written instructions detailing guard responsibilities (General and Post Orders) exist, are current, accessible, and that the guards know their contents.
  • Schedule and conduct guard-only drills to practice both routine and emergency-response protocols. You (and key staff members) should observe and/or participate in the drills before moving to campus-wide drills. This lets the guards know you believe their contributions are important. It further allows you time to adjust or tweak campus-wide procedures.
  • Routinely ensure that all guard posts are fully staffed by approved guards. Immediately bring to the attention of the guard company any shortfalls or anomalies and verify corrections.
  • Get to know your guards and encourage others within your business or school to do the same. Spend a few minutes daily to say “hello” and ask about their job. Ensure that they have adequate work and break environments. This personal display of interest and concern commonly translates into performance that exceeds expectations.
  • Empower your guards and team with technology that provides alerts and communication from your interdependent group so they can respond faster and effectively in the event of an incident.

 

 

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IS YOUR SCHOOL CRISIS PREPARATION GAUGE IN THE GREEN? http://clearpathalerts.com/schoolcrisispreparationgauge/ Sun, 14 Jan 2018 09:41:44 +0000 http://codeless.co/tower/default/?p=1148 International schools face a wide range of threats and hazards varying from community to community. Despite different threats, the pre-planned and practiced response protocols required for the majority of crisis situations number just a few.

In the case of an earthquake, flood, roof collapse or even a gas leak the likely first response would be the Evacuation Response Protocol. Yet, rarely would a major crisis require the use of just one response protocol.

Let’s get more specific with an example.

In the case of an earthquake, the initial response protocol for all stakeholders could be Duck and Cover. At the direction of the school Crisis Management Team (CMT) that initial response would then likely be followed by the Evacuation response protocol. In a catastrophic situation such as a massive earthquake, the CMT could even initiate an Off-Campus Evacuation if they deemed the pre-designated on-campus rally points (sometimes called assembly areas) to be unsafe.

Within Clearpath Alerts’ TOTALITY online platform, schools are able identify multiple rally points and geo-locate their locations. These would typically include an outside primary rally point, an outside back-up or secondary rally point, an internal rally point and an off-campus rally point. Depending on the size and configuration of your campus, schools could have multiple rally points for each category (i.e. pre-school outside RP, primary school outside RP, etc.). The main considerations for the selection of rally points should be the safety and security of the people assembled. When selecting the rally points avoid areas with potential hazards such as traffic, fuel storage or mechanical equipment. Further, with the exception of the off-campus rally point, all rally points should be appropriately marked and identified. Photos of the various rally points could be included in the Quick Action Guides carried by your teachers.

Clearpath Alerts’ TOTALITY online platform tracks a school’s crisis preparedness with the EPM dashboard’s Preparedness Gas Gauge. Take this quick assessment to see how your school measures up.

1) Do you have a designated school Crisis Management Team backed by a written Delegation of Authority that details what response authority the CMT leader or back-up can initiate in the event of a crisis?

2) Do you have crisis response protocols that address bus accidents or incidents?

3) Have all of your response protocols been tested to make sure they are correctly planned?

4) Do you document and maintain the records of your response protocol drills and after action reports?

5) Do you have pre-designated rally points that correspond to your response protocols?

6) Do your teachers have updated Quick Action Guides?

7) Do you have established procedures for students, staff, parents and others to report suspicious persons, activities or incidents?

8) Have you conducted a thorough threat and vulnerability assessment of your campus and surrounding area?

Here’s your rubric for preparedness according to the TOTALITY EPM’s Preparedness Gas Gauge. What’s your score? Is your school in the Green, Orange or Red?

Color                            Level of Performance  Your Answers 
GREEN HIGH LEVEL OF PREPAREDNESSS YES to all eight questions
ORANGE ON YOUR WAY YES to four to seven questions
RED WEAK CRISIS PLANNING AND PREPARATION YES to less than four questions
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