OSC Guardian - Safety Advice


Friday, January 28, 2011

Napolitano Announces New Terror Alert System, Acknowledges Public's Role in Preventing Attacks

By Matthew Harwood

01/28/2011 - The days are numbered for the nation's stoplight-like terror alert system.
During her state of homeland security address yesterday at George Washington University, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano officially announced the retirement of the old color-coded terrorism advisory system and began implementation of a new, more specific system that will be in place nationwide by the end of April.
The system will be built upon "a clear and simple premise," she said. "When a threat develops that could impact you – the public – we will tell you. We will provide whatever information we can so you know how to protect yourselves, your families, and your communities."


Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Airport Security in the wake of the Moscow attacks.

The New York Times asks whether it's possible to totally secure an airport and security professionals answer in the negative. "How do you fully secure something as big and sprawling as an international airport against a terrorist bombing like the one on Monday at Domodedovo Airport in Moscow?," reporter Joe Sharkey asks. "You cannot, security experts I spoke with on Monday say. Airports are by definition public places requiring relatively free access. The experts have long contended that serious holes in security at airports have been neglected while most of the effort and money goes into looking for weapons on passengers at checkpoints. But they have also warned that a sensational incident in one place can lead to widespread overreaction and demands for quick fixes."

♦ The security experts The Washington Post spoke with say airport security can get better outside secured areas. "But the farther you get away from the controlled area, the bigger the drop-off in terms of quality and quantity of security," Richard W. Bloom, an aviation security expert at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, told the Post. Bloom said some security resources may have to be reallocated to other parts of an airport to stop a suicide attack like yesterday's in Moscow. Rafi Ron, who is a security consultant for U.S. airports, added that airport design should come under scrutiny. "I don't know what the situation was in Moscow, but judging from the large number of casualties I would assume there were a lot of flying objects," he said. "A lot of U.S. airports have a lot of glass elements and partitions, all of which turn into very dangerous projectiles when there is an explosion."

Friday, January 21, 2011

January's Incendiary Divices Linked.

The three incendiary devices sent to two locations in Maryland and one in D.C. are linked, according to the FBI. "On January 6, 2011, a fiery package detonated in a mail room in the Jeffery Building in Annapolis, addressed to Maryland Secretary of State and the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security...," reports The Examiner. "A second device was discovered in nearby Hanover, Maryland only moments later that targeted the Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT). On Friday, just a day after the Maryland incidents another fiery package was discovered at a Washington D.C. postal plant addressed to Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano."

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

I can find out so much about you

A writer who worked for a tabloid newspaper lays out how easy it is to dredge up massive amounts of information on people and the fear it put in her.  She does a great job of showing how easy it is for someone not "in the trade" of investigation to find things out about you. "It scared me how much someone like me -- with no private-investigation experience or training, really nothing more than an Internet connection and a few hours left alone with the admonition to "find out whatever you can about this dead guy" -- could discover,' Ada Calhoun writes at Salon.com. "Freaked out by this epiphany, I adjusted all my social media settings, set most of my galleries to private, and tried to ensure there was at least one relatively flattering high-res photo of me publicly available, just in case."

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

January is Stalking Awareness Month

Stalking AwarenessCollage of stalking images.
January 2011 marks the eighth annual observance of National Stalking Awareness Month, a month dedicated to educating the public about the serious and at times deadly crime of stalking.

People sometimes forget that both women and men can be the victim of a stalker.

Stalking generally refers to harassing or threatening behavior that an individual engages in repeatedly, such as following a person, appearing at a person's home or place of business, making harassing phone calls, leaving written messages or objects, or vandalizing a person's property. (Stalking in America: Findings From the National Violence Against Women Survey, National Institute of Justice, 1998) While the federal government, all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and U.S. Territories have all enacted criminal laws to address stalking, the legal definition for stalking varies across jurisdictions. For example, state laws vary regarding the element of victim fear and emotional distress, as well as the requisite intent of the stalker. Additionally, states vary regarding what level of fear is required for an offense to be considered stalking. (Stalking Victimization in the United States, Bureau of Justice Statistics, 2009)
Stalking between intimate partners is widespread and often associated with lethal abuse. Despite the enactment of anti-stalking laws in every state, relatively few stalkers are cited or arrested by law enforcement, even fewer are prosecuted. (A Statewide Study of Stalking and Its Criminal Justice Response, National Institute of Justice-Sponsored, 2009)

Being the victim of a stalker is no laughing matter.  What may seem "cute" can turn to "creepy" and  violent/threatening very quickly. Unless you understand and recognize the signs, it could be too late to do something about it.

Take it seriously and notify local law enforcement and security.  The reason you want to let your company security know is that although you may feel embarrassed, stalking can flow into the workplace (as can domestic violence) and unless the building/company security knows about the issue, they can not do anything about it.

Stay Safe,
Oram Security

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Do you know your building or companies Emergency and Fire Prevention Plans?

In accordance with the OSHA standard 1910.38, Employee Emergency and Fire Prevention Plans, all locations with more than 10 employees must have a written Emergency and Fire Prevention plan that includes at a minimum, the following elements:
·         Emergency escape procedures and emergency escape route assignments.
·         A procedure to account for all employees after emergency evacuation has been completed.
·         Rescue and medical duties for those employees who are to perform them.
·         The preferred means of reporting fires and other emergencies.
·         Procedures for specific types of emergencies.
·         The names or regular job titles of persons or departments who can be contacted for further information or explanation of duties under the plan.

Administrators/Managers must ensure that all new and existing employees have read and understand the contents of this plan.

Occupant Responsibilities 

As a building occupant, it is your responsibility to be familiar with this plan. Read it carefully. If you have any questions, consult the administrator in charge (AIC) of this facility/plan.

Pay specific attention to:
·         Evacuation routes, exit points, and where to report for roll call after evacuating the building.
·         When and how to evacuate the building.
·         Locations of emergency supplies and materials that may be needed in an emergency, such as fire extinguishers, pull alarms and first aid kits.
·         Proper procedures for notifying emergency responders about an emergency in the building or work area.
·         Additional responsibilities (such as being a roll taker or floor monitor).
·         Fire hazards.
·         Means of protecting yourself in the event of an emergency.

If your company or building does not have a plan in place, Oram Security can help you develop it.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Homegrown Terrorism

The terrorist threat facing the United States is less severe than before the 9-11 attacks, but more homegrown (.pdf) and, thus, harder to detect and disrupt, according to a report by the Bipartisan Policy Center.

An interesting white paper that gives a good review of the internal or "home grown" threat.  As we have seen, more and more attacks are being made by US Citizens as well as naturalized Citizens.

Stay Safe
Oram Security

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

The murder of a prominent Pakistani governor highlights the threat of militant infiltration within the government's security forces.

The murder of a prominent Pakistani governor highlights the threat of militant infiltration within the government's security forces. "On Tuesday Mr. [Salman]Taseer was shot in daylight multiple times at close range as he was getting into his car in Islamabad at the Kohsar Market, an area frequently visited by the city’s elite," reported The New York Times. "His attacker was identified as Malik Mumtaz Hussain Qadri, an elite-force security guard, who surrendered to the police immediately afterward and implied he had killed the governor because of his campaign to amend the blasphemy laws."