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Hometown Security

Tools to Help Your Community Prepare

PlacemarkerThe U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) develops critical partnerships between the private sector and the public sector in order to mitigate risk and enhance the security and resilience of public gathering sites and special events. To this end, DHS engages closely with our private sector and community partners to provide expert counsel and recommendations about protective measures they can implement to protect facilities and venues. DHS provides free tools and resources to communities because the Department recognizes that communities are the first line of defense in keeping the public safe and secure.

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The Department encourages businesses to to Connect, Plan, Train, and Report. Applying these four steps in advance of an incident or attack can help better prepare businesses and their employees to proactively think about the role they play in the safety and security of their businesses and communities.

  • CONNECT: Reach out and develop relationships in your community, including local law enforcement. Having these relationships established before an incident occurs can help speed up the response when something happens.
  • PLAN: Take the time now to plan on how you will handle a security event should one occur. Learn from other events to inform your plans.
  • TRAIN: Provide your employees with training resources and exercise your plans often. The best laid plans must be exercised in order to be effective.
  • REPORT: “If You See Something, Say Something™” is more than just a slogan. Call local law enforcement.
DHS Supports Faith-Based Community Centers
Responding to a Bomb Threat
Active Shooter Preparedness

Connect

Reach out and develop relationships in your community, including local law enforcement. Having these relationships established before an incident occurs can help speed up the response when something happens.

  • Develop relationships with local law enforcement and businesses in your area. Invite local law enforcement to tour your business.
  • Connect with community security and preparedness organizations such as the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s public-private partnership program “InfraGard.”
  • Contact the local DHS Protective Security Advisor who is available to support your efforts. Protective Security Advisors are security subject matter experts who engage with State, local, tribal, and territorial (SLTT) government mission partners and members of the private sector stakeholder community to protect the Nation’s critical infrastructure.
  • Communicate with your customers and let them know about the security measures you are taking to ensure a positive experience and to maintain public safety.
  • If your business is located at or near a Federal facility, connect with DHS’s Federal Protective Service at1-877-4FPS-411.

Plan

Take the time now to plan on how you will handle a security event should one occur. Learn from other events to inform your plans.

  • Be aware of current threats related to your geographic region or impacting your business sector.
  • Develop plans, including security, emergency response, emergency communications, and business continuity plans, while considering the protection of your employees and customers, access control,closed-circuit television, signage, suspicious activity reporting, and parking security.
  • Evaluate your security requirements and design a monitoring, surveillance, and inspection program that is consistent with your business operations.
  • Develop evacuation and shelter-in-place plans, and ensure that multiple evacuation routes are clearly marked with appropriate signage and that rallying points are available.
  • Develop and implement a security plan for computer and information systems hardware and software.
  • Engage local first responders (police, fire, medical) in all of the above efforts to ensure your efforts are in
    synergy with theirs.

Train

Provide your employees with training resources and exercise your plans often. The best laid plans must be exercised in order to be effective.

  • Train employees on identifying and reporting suspicious activities, active shooter scenarios, and what to
    do if they suspect an improvised explosive device (IED). Ensure they understand security basics,
    emergency response, business continuity plans, and increased awareness of potential threats.
  • Exercise your emergency communications plan.

Report

“If You See Something, Say Something™” is more than just a slogan. Call local law enforcement.

  • Post details on reporting suspicious activity and encourage employees, tenants, and visitors to report
    suspicious behavior to property management security or local law enforcement. Things to consider
    include unattended vehicles; repeat visitors or outsiders who have no apparent business in non-public
    area; abandoned parcels, suitcases, backpacks, and packages; and other unusual activity.
  • Get involved with the Department’s “If You See Something, Say Something™” campaign.

Active Shooter Preparedness

DHS Active Shooter resources offer free courses, materials and workshops to better prepare you to deal with an active shooter situation and to raise awareness of behaviors that represent pre-incident indicators and characteristics of active shooters.

Protective Security Advisors

Protective Security Advisors proactively engage with government partners and the private sector to protect critical infrastructure.

Additional Resources

Last Published Date: June 30, 2017

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