The recent string of hurricanes and other tropical storms caused a massive amount of destruction and disruption that is severely affecting millions of people across thousands of square miles. The rescue and recovery efforts need to match that immense scale in order to effectively restore the situation. More than twenty thousand federal employees are currently providing assistance in the Caribbean islands alone.
Multi hazard events like a tropical storm require a large amount of resources of wildly varying types, and everything from the generators brought in to non-powered areas, to the relief supply lines need to be protected from thieves and criminals, many who are now in more desperate circumstances than they have previously experienced. Handling this task is possibly the most effective security organization in existence - the U.S. Military.
More than 30,000 members of the National Guard were considered for deployment before the first storm struck, and with contributions from all other branches of service they have taken up the majority of security operations in the disaster areas. This in addition to their well-publicized relief and rescue efforts. The military is understandably quiet on the details of an active defense operation, the enormity of their effort should not be overlooked.
The economy of America and the well being of her citizens is reliant on the transportation of goods; almost everything that is consumed or used across the country has likely travelled a great time and distance from production before being put into use. Each step in the transit process sees the product handled by a different set of hands, each of which represents a unique security risk.
Losses from large scale and organized commerce thefts are calculated at billions of dollars every year. However a greater threat comes from spontaneous and small scale pilfering – when a large number of people have potential access to the goods and strong loss prevention protocols are not in place it can be easy for a small amount of product to go missing unnoticed, which quickly adds up to a total amount of inventory shrinkage estimated to be higher than that from direct losses. This is particularly a threat in areas where goods are transferred between couriers.
For warehouses and storage yards with goods, many of the usual security protocols should be applied. Strong access control steps should be taken to ensure it is a secure and controlled area. All areas containing merchandise should be well lit with clear sight lines to any position where containers may be opened. Incoming trucks should follow the same route whether dropping off or picking up a shipment, and be properly documented in arrival, departure, and in every action performed on its cargo. A well planned and operated security procedure will both decrease the risk of product loss, and increase the efficiency of a less structured operation.