According to the U.S. Coast Guard, “Perimeter protection is the first line of defense in providing physical security for personnel, property, and information at a facility.” Interior security controls should be determined by considering the monetary value and integral items and areas to be protected, the vulnerability of the facility, and the cost of the mitigation necessary to reduce vulnerabilities.
Due to the large amount of public attention and increased on-site population created at an oil spill site, fire, or industrial emergency, preparing for additional security measures should be part of the emergency planning processes.
Several measures should be planned in advance to prepare security personnel for possible events that may occur at the spill site.
- Restrict access to the facility.
- Direct traffic away from the affected area.
- Request assistance from those trained in security measures in the affected area.
- Request assistance from the local authorities to:
- Establish road blocks where necessary to secure the area
- Divert local traffic away from the spill area
- Provide monitored access for response equipment and personnel
- If necessary, establish procedure to communicate with the FAA to restrict air space over the safety zone.
- Contract for additional security personnel (as needed).
- Maintain strict control over all personnel and entering vehicular traffic.
- Position security personnel to effectively control non-response personnel.
- Barricade lesser traveled points with appropriate signs warning against entry.
- Establish check points at barricaded points to verify security effectiveness.
- Maintain a log that documents all security related incidents and observations made at the spill site.
- Establish a pass system and distribute pre-prepared security passes to all spill related personnel.
- Ensure all response equipment is safeguarded.
The most efficient and cost-effective method of instituting security measures into any facility or operation is through advance planning and continuous monitoring throughout an emergency. Response security protocols should be reviewed to educate security personnel on roles and responsibilities. Such exercises can strengthen security awareness for the emergency response team and reduce the potential for security-related incidents.
For tips and best practices on designing a crisis management program, download our Best Practices for Crisis Management.