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DHS Calls for Enhanced Vigilance After Paris Terrorist Attacks

Members of the Healthcare and Public Health Community and SCC/GCC leadership participated in a Department of Homeland Security call held for Critical Infrastructure Cross-Sector Council leaders this morning to discuss last night’s terror attacks across Paris and protective measures we can take during this period of
heightened awareness. As the attacks occurred at multiple sites, law enforcement and emergency services personnel were spread across the city and multiple hospitals experienced surge. DHS officials were specifically interested in concerns or preparations from the HPH Sector. Please let us know at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you have questions or
preparations to highlight.

Incidents like this give us another opportunity to review our response plans with our employees for situational awareness, maintaining vigilance for behaviors, objects, and activities that depart from the norm of their experience, that are out of place for the area, that prompt suspicion, or that otherwise raise safety or security concerns:

1. Review your security plans and exercise them regularly, using scenarios based on tactics recently used

2. Reinforce with your employees that they are well positioned to apply: familiarity with their surroundings; attentiveness to what's common and varies from the norm; vigilance throughout their shifts, across work areas, and in places they visit off duty; and reporting in a timely manner to appropriate authorities.

3. Review Active Shooter, Suspicious Activity Reporting, and Counter-IED preparedness in training and awareness initiatives and in organizational safety briefings.

4. Ensure proper functioning of emergency communications equipment and conduct
regular tests.

In addressing the importance of reporting, a key point merits emphasis. Previous investigations of successful terror attacks or serious violent crimes uncovered witnesses who, after the fact, commented on what they had seen, why it had bothered them but did not report it. Expanding the "See something - Say something" concept, guiding parameters for employees can be along these lines:

"You've seen something, You've heard something, You're right to be concerned, Maybe it's nothing, But at times it's been something, So please say something and give the authorities the chance to make a difference."

Early recognition and reporting of potential terrorist activity is the first line of defense against those who intend to harm us and our critical infrastructure.

Last modified on Thursday, 05 January 2017 19:01
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