After yesterday’s events during the Boston Marathon I’m reminded about the days following 9/11 and of a bombing in London a few years later.  It is still best to always be cautious, remain vigilant and have open communication but please don’t jump to conclusions or provide a false sense of secure by making something up on the spot.

Right after 9/11 the management company of the building I was officed in sent out a letter saying they had checked all the common areas and put in extra security measures to ensure the safety of all tenants. This was a three story building in suburban Austin, TX and I know, because I was there all day, that no one checked anything and nothing new had been done to secure the building.  What was the point of this letter?  To give the tenants the feeling of being secure?

Why not enlist the tenants help by asking them to report anything suspicious or out of the ordinary.

Then a few years later I was in San Diego with a bunch of Boy Scouts when the bombing in London occurred.  The next day we were scheduled to take about 35 boys and adults on a ferry tour of the harbor.  The tour went as scheduled but as we were boarding the boat a young man was at the boarding platform asking to see everyone’s driver’s license.  Being the inquisitive person I am, I ask him why he was doing this?  His reply was, “they told me to, because of the thing in London”.  Of course I then ask was he was looking for, the word terrorist and his answer was, “I don’t know” and was somewhat embarrassed.   My point was not to embarrass the young man but to rather see what they were doing that may be used at other locations.

Although they may be trying to make a target a little harder I see several things wrong with this.  Mainly it only alluded to the appearance that something was being done, when in fact in both cases it was just giving a false sense of security to everyone.  If nothing was actually checked in the first situation, why even say it.? If you have no idea what you are even looking for, why do it?

Think through scenarios before they happen, have action plans in place to refer back to when they do happen, constantly change and update with the changing environment and always, ALWAYS train.