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Back to School, Back to Diligence

The Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Department of Homeland Security have stated that currently, there are no known specific threats or discernable plots by foreign or domestic terror organizations to act out on domestic soil. However, both agencies have stated that terror attacks could happen with little to no warning due to relaxed security protocols around civilian locations and the inherent difficulties in maintaining security postures around large crowds.

In light of this information, there are some things you can do to enhance your personal safety as well as that of your family and friends:

  • Practice good situational awareness by being aware of your surroundings.

  • Trust your gut; if something or someone seems out of place, leave the area immediately.

  • Watch for behavior that appears suspicious, out of place, or abnormal.

  • Always keep your personal effects on your person. Don't leave items unattended.

  • When you are indoors, identify emergency exits, doorways,and avenues of escape.

  • Fully charge your cellular phone before going out.

  • Consider carrying a portable charging device if you will be out for an extended period of time.

  • Report all suspicious and criminal activity to local Law Enforcement.

Along those same lines, millions of school children will be returning to class in person for the first time since the COVID lockdowns began in 2019. Behavioral health experts predict that this will drive spikes in incidents involving students,staff, and visitors.Of most concern is the threat of increased active assailant or criminal mass casualty events.The ever-changing COVID-19protocols will inevitably compound these potential issues.

It's good to hope for the best, but we need to prepare for the worst. For school officials, that means refreshing their staff and student population on standard operating procedures and critical incident management. Here are some tips to help with that process:

  • Ensure that Emergency Operations Plans (EOPs) are current and follow best practices.

  • Conduct tabletop exercises for emergency operations staff.

  • Assess all school sites to ensure that physical security measures are in place and functioning correctly.

  • Conduct site-wide lockdown drills that incorporate various tactical situations.

  • Create and practice behavioral assessment and behavioral intervention elements at all sites.

  • Inform staff of visitor management and access control protocols.

  • Provide anonymous tip reporting options

If you would like assistance preparing for a safe return to school, you can contact one of our security and emergency preparedness experts at

AP Keenan’s Loss Control and IMReady Bulletins are intended to help clients identify and mitigate hazards and potential liability exposures. We do not represent or guarantee that they will be able to identify or address all potential hazards, or offer a fail-safe mechanism for dealing with them. We make no promise or representation that clients will recognize improved loss experience or premium savings as a result of these services. AP Keenan is not a law firm and no opinion, suggestion, or recommendation of the firm or its employees shall constitute legal advice. Clients are advised to consult with their own attorney for a determination of their legal rights, responsibilities and liabilities, including the interpretation of any statute or regulation, or its application to client’s business activities.

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