by Michael Payne | July 01, 2015
The following was prepared by Michael Payne, organizational resilience manager at iJET International, based in Annapolis, Md. This checklist should be implemented with enough lead time to permit effective planning and achieve an acceptable level of risk reduction. Managing a venue's risk profile will ensure you understand the types of hazards and your vulnerability to disruption, as well as what resources you need to mitigate their impact. While the focus is on intentional, human-caused events, planning for natural disasters (e.g., geological, meteorological), technological glitches (utility, computer system) and human error (HAZMAT, transportation) is of value; these mishaps can occur in tandem with, or as a result of, actions of terrorism and civil unrest.

Know Who Will Attend

 How many people will attend? Where will attendees be most concentrated?

 Will dignitaries and/or high-profile or controversial people be in attendance, or others needing special attention?

 What kind of controlled or proprietary information or intellectual property will be presented?

 Is there safe parking for attendee vehicles? If so, what is the capacity?

Identify Potential Hazards
 Contact law enforcement and corporate security departments about threats such as terrorists, active shooters, thieves or violent activists.

 Review relevant venue, city, county and state emergency management websites for known hazards, and determine their frequency and severity.

 Examine any historical precedence for hazards, such as dangerous weather or motor-vehicle accidents, and consider the potential for toxic chemical releases from a nearby facility, highway or even a passing train.  

 Assess barriers such as local or peculiar ordnances, laws, norms, or cultural behaviors that may affect attendees from other countries or regions.

Review Available Resources
 Review crowd/access control, and evaluate the effectiveness of security tokens -- small hardware devices that provide access via cards, key fobs and the like.

 Evaluate special training and the ability to conduct drills and exercises prior to the event.

 Assess security staffing such as personal protection teams or the availability of internal/contract security officers.

 Gauge the effectiveness of security systems such as closed-circuit television, alarms and access-control equipment.

 Review both public and private emergency-response planning, notification and communication measures.

Apply Countermeasures to Mitigate Risk

 After evaluating data, consult with security management, law enforcement, legal and other key stakeholders.

 Leverage partnerships in the area.

 Continuously evaluate the venue for risk indicators such as ineffective communication and/or coordination; absence of external staffing for security and crowd control; inadequate access control or other demonstrable security measures; poor signage for emergency exits and pathways, or malfunctioning emergency devices.

 Develop and implement a venue-specific emergency response plan.

 Monitor social media for threats, demonstrations or protests.

Don't dismiss anyone's feelings of insecurity; if present, address them immediately.