The recent terrible events in Paris are a sad reminder that cultural gathering places can be targets for violence. A few simple steps can prepare your staff and volunteers to help themselves and others should an incident ever happen.
Our partners at ArtsReady have provided a collection of resources to help your organization improve its security and learn key safety procedures. It is unlikely that your chorus will ever experience an act of violence at a performance or at your organization—but being prepared can make your organization stronger and more resilient.
As Chorus America uses these resources to inform our staff and shape our own plans for an emergency, we hope you will find them useful as well.
FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION
Staff should become familiar with this Bomb Threat Checklist provided by the FBI, and keep it posted near the main phone lines in both administrative and box office/guest service areas to use in the event of a bomb threat. The information collected through the checklist can be highly valuable to the police/first responders.
Make sure you have a rigorous walkthrough process of your facility particularly on opening or event days. Your staff, volunteers and patrons should regularly be reminded “If you see something, say something.” The FBI provides this guidance for Suspicious Activity, Suspicious Mail/Packages, and monitoring your site’s Physical Security.
DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY
The U. S. Department of Homeland Security has published the booklet Active Shooter: How to Respond – Profile of an Active Shooter. The booklet contains advice on individual responses including evacuation and hiding out, as well as guidance on training your staff on how to prepare and respond. An array of other training resources is available through DHS, including the 90-minute Active Shooter Webinar, which describes three types of active shooters—workplace/school, criminal, and ideological—and how their planning cycles and behaviors differ.
LOS ANGELES COUNTY SHERIFF’S DEPARTMENT
The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department has produced a video (Surviving an Active Shooter – WARNING HIGHLY GRAPHIC) portraying a number of different types of active shooter scenarios and how to protect yourself and those around you. The portrayals are very realistic and demonstrate the best actions to take in different situations.