Posted in Disaster Preparedness, Uncategorized

If it quacks like a duck and looks like a duck…retrieve!

If something doesn't look right, it probably isn't right.

According to the Department of Homeland Security, more attempted terrorist attacks against the U.S. have occurred in the past nine months than in any previous one-year period.

In our first two posts about terrorism-related issues, we covered the basics about dealing with the risks of terrorism and setting up surveillance networks. Our post today explores how individual tenants, building management and staff, and maybe even your pet can work together to identify suspicious activity.

As we often stress in our posts, safety begins with the individual. It is, ultimately, a matter of personal responsibility. For instance, for my canine friends, it’s not cool to pull your owner down the sidewalk while you chase a squirrel. The RJ Westmore, Inc. Training System emphasizes that everyone plays key roles in not only their own safety but also in ensuring the safety of those around them.

With the recent attempted bombing in Times Square, it was a T-shirt vendor who first identified and reported someone quickly walking away from a suspicious vehicle. According to the Department of Homeland Security, with more potential terrorists being carried out by Western operatives who are either U.S. citizens or here on visas, it is difficult for law enforcement to identify terrorist planning or “chatter.” Law enforcement officials are not omnipotent They need community involvement to help recognize red flags and suspicious behavior patterns. In my book, any gathering of two or more tabbies is suspicious activity; you never know what they could be scheming about!

Here are some examples of efforts that major metropolitan areas are using to engage the community in terrorism prevention:

  • New York City’s Operation Nexus is a nationwide network of more than 25,000 businesses that agree to share information about suspicious activity. Individuals at participating businesses agree to report the purchasing of materials or use of training that might indicate terrorist activity.
  • The Los Angeles Police Department’s iWatchLA is a community awareness program that encourages residents to identify behaviors that might indicate terrorist plotting:
    • Worrisome chemical smells or fumes located around important structures
    • Individuals asking for sensitive information such as VIP travel plans or building blueprints
    • Attempts to purchase potentially explosive material components, absent of proper certification or licensure
    • It’s not on their official list, but us pooches can be great alarm systems. Listen to us when we are barking like crazy!

What can you do as a building owner or manager?

  • Utilize RJ Westmore’s online training including its “resources” and “links” which offer a wealth of information about terrorism and dozens of other topics.
  • Encourage your tenants to learn the basics of identifying suspicious behavior (using community watch and DHS resources). Make sure they don’t hesitate when something doesn’t “look right.”
  • Set up protocols for tracking and reporting tenant or visitor alerts.. Any incident should be recorded and promptly shared with law enforcement. Sharing information is crucial to preventing future attacks.
  • Consider installing comfortable cedar chip-filled beds in sunny spots with accessible fresh water and a rawhide bar. Wait….what was I talking about again?
  • Consider the benefits of Universal Services of America, an RJ Westmore, Inc. strategic partner, who helps some of our clients with services including on-site and remote security systems as well as guards.

Visit us next week for the final post in our series about terrorism prevention. For the latest emergency management training for facility/building managers, contact RJ Westmore, Inc. Our e-based system offers the best emergency training available, with automated and integrated features. RJ Westmore, Inc. is a member of the U.S. Green Building Council, a non-profit trade organization that promotes sustainability in how buildings are designed, built and operated. Visit RJWestmore.com for more information and remember to BE SAFE.

Posted in Building Evacuation, Disaster Preparedness, Earthquakes, Emergency Evacuations, Fire Life Safety Training, Fire Safety, Uncategorized, Version 2.0

Announcing Version 2.0 of the RJ Westmore Training System

Version 2.0 is available to RJ Wesmore clients at no additional charge.

The new RJ Westmore Training System is here! Version 2.0 is packed great features which include even more integration and automation that brings together property/ facility managers, fire safety directors , floor wardens, occupants and local fire departments. (Now, if only it came with some rawhide bones and chew toys…)

Version 2.0 Features:

  • Real-time reporting with just one click—
    • Identify tenants that need special assistance to evacuate in the case of emergency
    • Have ready access to lists of primary and alternate floor wardens organized by floor
    • Building-specific information is ready available to building management as well as local fire departments
      • Automatic email notification to property management and the fire safety director each time either the special assistance or floor warden list is updated by users.
  • Improved Fire Department access—
    • Access to all RJ Westmore Online Training System companies in the city through one home page (This is my favorite features because I love keeping all of the other Dalmatians informed!)
    • Monitoring of individual building testing and training for all building occupants, including floor wardens and fire safety directors
    • Fire Department approved across the United States and compliant with FDNY LL26, LAFD 57.33.19, as well as Federal OSHA and individual State fire codes.
  • Automated features—
    • Automatically creates and sends certificates of completion to each user
    • Sends employee compliance reports for each tenant
    • Sends annual renewal reminders to each user (I usually just bark loudly when I want to send out a reminder.)
  • Improved confidentiality and system control—
    • Controls information distribution with multiple tiers of system access
    • Grants access to confidential info such as maps and emergency plans

The RJ Westmore Inc. Safety Training System Version 2.0 gives building owners a complete picture of their emergency preparedness. We map out your exterior refuge map with a satellite picture of your building. We map out the lobby of your building and work out the best exit routes. Elevator banks and stairwells are graphed, to show a comprehensive picture of accessibility and egress.

More info about the Version 2.0 rollout

  • 30-day implementation with a simple monthly fee
  • All updates, training, and other resources are provided at no additional charge
  • Training and procedures are available for any kind of disaster, whether it be manmade or natural

If you own or manage a building, or know someone who does, do them a favor. Let them know about the RJWestmore Training System. Choosing our service provides a value added tenant service that limits property management and individual tenant liability. Furthermore, it cuts property management training related workloads by 90% and saves users over 50% compared to conventional training! More importantly, it saves lives. BE SAFE.