The looting and riots have affected national chains such as Gap, Nordstrom and Nike in huge cities such as Chicago in the U.S. Ransacked shops, kiosks set fire, and looters scoring bags full of product lines from cosmetics and shoes to clothing and technology have been documented by news reports.
To be honest no one wants to be at the fore-front of violent crowds who are vandalizing local shops. The shop-owners feel the urge to defend their stores but it’s hard to do so.
Sometimes reinforcing commercial doors also results the same as other normal safety measures.
It is difficult to foresee when there will be a riot or which corporations are going to be attacked. Generally, because of their proximity to the center of the riot these stores are targeted and not because of the businesses.
Because of its volatility, company owners need to be prepared for possible hazardous incidents at all times that place their companies at risk.
Below are some of the actions which business-owners can take to safe-guard their stores and at times of violation or lootings –
- Don’t be a hero in-front of looters – Hire temporary security forces to safeguard the property, rather than taking the situation into your own hands. Qualified and seasoned guards know how to deal with cases of emergency such as looting and rioting. In the face of risky or unpredictable circumstances, they have the expertise to discourage looters, defuse the threats and behave with composure. Do not attempt to get involved with the looters yourself and maintain a distance. Go for calling the police as soon as you can.
- Look out for vulnerabilities in your property – The property at which you operate needs to be assessed really well before you can have a strategy for the looters. Look out for the areas that can be used to enter with force. You can go for reinforcing commercial doors for better safety of your property. These areas can be in the parking lot, entry gate or any loose walls. Make a strategy to tackle these areas and fit big doors to ensure safety.
- Remove money and valuables from stores – To a feasible extent, cash, merchandise and equipment should be removed from the premises. If your company becomes a target, eliminating valuables before would minimize your losses. If you move your assets from the land, post signs stating that on the site there is nothing of value. While not a surefire deterrence, if they realize that something of value has been taken from the shop, looters can be less likely to target your business.
- Try contacting local Authorities – For guidance, look at municipal agencies, including fire and police, FEMA and other town officials. You will be educated by your elected authorities and community groups about your area’s emergency management procedures and plans related to the current unrest. They might even be able to even provide you with tools to secure your company now and pick your company up later.
- Create an escape plan – There are several occasions when security guards will find themselves overloaded by the number of individuals trying to rob a business. Before any staffs are deployed to a job, a secure escape plan must be developed. It is critical in every safety plan to look at exits and where doors lead. Knowing where a door opens gives an opportunity to get back up and call for security. When in a secure spot, call the security service for support, call the organization and contact the local authority. Get the required support to remain healthy. You’ve already got a backup. Without a contingency plan, never go into any circumstance.
Connecting with your community’s business owners will help you coordinate your efforts together to keep folks safe.
Urge other companies to describe their shops as local. In your city and state, check out public and private business organizations. Establish a Facebook and WhatsApp community of local companies so that you can remain linked to your fellow businessmen.
And if you think a potentially violent incident is on the way, then mobilize local companies to formulate ways to band together before and after the looting and destruction, like jointly recruiting security or finding grants and cleanup assistance.