Covid Wave – 2, Contingency Planning – Physical Security

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The second wave is likely to be more severe than the first, last year. The real differentiator being that  we may expect many more casualties and yet have to run business as usual with limited lockdowns.

The Environment

  • Increased requirement of security staff to enforce protection protocols.
  • More  guards absent because of sickness.
  • Migration of guards to native areas and hesitation of guards to return – thus severely straining operations. Urgent need for retention measures.
  • Isolation of infected guards.
  • Treatment of sick in view of severely strained hospital and government infrastructure.

 A joint approach and coordinated efforts between the security agency and the client will be able to mitigate the challenges posed in the above environment.

  • Prioritisation
  • Identification of the most vulnerable  areas which need to be manned in order of the below priority –
    • Priority -1 – To ensure covid protective measures.
    • Priority-2 – From the general security perspective.

(Most of these areas will be common)

  • Ensuring an integrated approach, having common entrance and exits and properly manning and equipping these, rather than dissipating resources. With reduced foot fall a realistic assessment be made and unnecessary deployment be done away with.
  • Self-Containment
    • Making the security personal stay in duty location – thus minimising risk of infection.
    • For  this accommodation and dining may have to be catered for by the client.
  • Creation of Reserves
    • At security agency level –
      • Having the ability to  move weekly off relievers to location having sudden spurt in demand due to casualties.
      • Catering for pooled reserves – this may be possible between locations in close vicinity.
    • At client level –
      • Deploying only the minimum required head count and keeping other guards in reserve, by ensuring due compensation for reserves.
  • Morale and Motivation. This is the most important factor in retention of guards and making them perform beyond the call of duty in these difficult times.
    • At client level –
      • Ensuring timely payments.
      • Assurance that the guard’s salary will not be cut in the recovery period of COVID.
      • Assistance in management of sick, by providing isolation facilities, care and transportation to covid facilities.
    • At service provider level –
      • Ensuring medical insurance cover.
      • Helping guards with monetary advances.
      • Assistance in isolation and transportation.

Note – The guards live in groups, often in cramp accommodation. The chances on en bulk infections are un avoidable. Isolation of infected guards becomes a great challenge. The security agency with its limited resources may not be in a position to provide isolation facilities and care. With hospitals also not accepting patients, care of sick is likely to become a major challenge. In such an environment the clients support will be invaluable.


CEO VS4 Security and Services