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How to Prepare for Severe Weather Events

Monday, February 27th, 2012

The Allied Universal Training System seamlessly connects users to the NOAA website.

Recently, on both the east and west coast, it’s felt a lot more like spring or summer than winter. Nevertheless, severe snow, avalanche warnings and damaging winds loom. No matter where you live and work, despite meteorological assertions to the contrary, weather is unpredictable. Even the most methodical forecasts often underestimate the severity of weather events. And even storms that come with prior warning can cause catastrophic results.

To BE SAFE, building managers and property owners should create a severe weather event plan and be ready to implement it with little or no advanced warning. This practice is a fundamental part of emergency preparedness which is essential to life safety and building protection. So, prepare today for potential severe weather such as hail storm, cyclone, hurricane, electrical storm, ice storm, thunderstorm, tornado, blizzard, flood and winter storm, extreme cold or extreme heat.
Here’s how to prepare for severe weather:

  • Before you need it, set up and consistently test your ability to communicate during emergencies.
  • Make use of applications that instantly transmit messages and weather advisories to tenant subscribers via voicemail, email and text messaging. The Allied Universal Training System includes an integrated property messaging system for just this type of communication.
  • Whatever system you use, send notifications before, during and after severe storms. For use in extreme emergencies, these applications also have a reply feature that allows recipients to tell building staff that they are safe.
  • Make sure lines of communication are open to your city’s emergency services so you will be alerted to disaster-related information. Learn your community’s warning signals and evacuation plans.
  • Familiarize yourself with the terms that are used to identify severe weather, such as advisories, watches and warnings.
  • Purchase and program a NOAA Weather Radio for alerts. The Allied Universal training system includes NOAA weather watchers warningsand alerts button that users can click to enter zip code and then sign up for text messaging, desktop warnings, etc.

    The Allied Universal Training System Homepage features alive NOAA Weather link.

  • Evaluate the current condition of your building:

o    Keep roofs and setbacks clean and clear, with scaffolding or loose equipment securely tied down.
o    Double check storm drains to prevent ice build-up.
o    Set up sandbags when preparing for a flood.
o    Test emergency backup equipment and systems.
o    Make sure adequate supplies are accessible.
o    Check flashlight batteries.
o    Confirm your energy management software functions properly.
o    Prepare an emergency kit that includes food, water, blankets and medical supplies as well as a whistle to signal for help. For a more complete list of provisions to gather for impending storms, check out the free preparedness tips from FEMA.

  • If necessary, call extra operations and security staff.
  • Monitor the status of mass transit services and roadways for tenant advisories.
  • Consider retaining a 24/7 disaster recovery company to assist with storm damage remediation.

When a disaster strikes, prior planning and clear decisive action can help save lives. For the latest emergency management training for facility/building managers, contact Allied Universal, Inc. Our new Version 2.5 e-based training system offers the best emergency training system with automated and integrated features. What’s more, the NEW Allied Universal Property Messaging System is included FREE for all Allied Universal Online Training System users. Visit www.rjwestmore.com  for more information.

Are we at risk for spring flooding?

Monday, February 13th, 2012

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), floods kill more people in the United States than any other type of severe weather. Some floods develop slowly, while others, such as flash floods, can develop in just a few minutes and without visible signs of rain.  Whatever the cause of a flood, taking steps to prepare will not only help keep your family, tenants and employees safe, but can also help minimize potential property damage and reduce the costs of recovery. Most importantly…it can help save lives!

Although this year’s weather in the U.S. has been relatively odd, with far less snow and rainfall than what is typical, the risk of flooding remains high. In fact, severe winter weather could actually increase your risk of flooding no matter where you live in the United States.

FloodSmart.gov, which is the official website of the national flood insurance program, provides information to property owners designed to help protect assets in weather-related incidents. Take a few minutes to gather the facts so you will be able to prepare for these potentially problematic conditions:

  1. Heavy Rains—several areas of the country are currently at risk for flooding due to heavy rains. Excessive rainfall can happen throughout the year, putting your property at risk.
  2. Rain Following a Fire—after a wildfire, the charred ground where vegetation has burned away cannot easily absorb rainwater. This increases the risk of flooding and mudflow for a number of years. Any property which was directly affected by fires or is located downstream of burn areas are at risk.

To assess your building’s risk for floods, survey the area immediately around the property. Has brush burned? Is your structure located in a valley or in an area where water could pool? If you determine that your property is at risk for flooding, take steps to prepare well before the first raindrop falls.

  1. Ice Jams—these occur when extended cold spells freeze the surface of rivers. When a significant rise in the water level or a thaw breaks the ice into large chunks, these floating masses can jam up man-made or natural obstructions, resulting in severe flooding.
  2. La NinaUSA Today reports that extreme weather can be attributed mostly to a strong La Nina, which is associated with cooler than normal water temperatures in the Equatorial Pacific Ocean and an atmospheric flow that causes drier than normal conditions in the Southwest and wetter than normal in the Northwest. Extreme weather often leads to flooding.
  3. Snow Melt—while heavy rains overtly alert people to the possibility of flooding, melting snow is a subtler, but no less significant threat. Even if you don’t live in Portland or Seattle, you could encounter a flood.
  4. Spring Thaw—a midwinter or early spring thaw could produce large amounts of runoff in a short period of time. Because the ground is hard and frozen, water fails to penetrate and be reabsorbed. The water runs off the surface and flows into lakes, streams and rivers, causing excess water to spill over onto dry land.
  5. West Coast Rainy Season—heavy rains from late October through March mark the rainy season in the western United States, bringing the majority of annual rainfall to the region. Each year during the winter rainy season, residents on the West Coast face the risk of flooding and mudflows that can damage homes and businesses

The National Weather Service puts floods in three categories:

  1. Minor (little or no property damage)
  2. Moderate (some inundation of structures and roads near streams and some evacuations of people to higher ground)
  3. Major (extensive inundation and significant evacuations of people to higher elevations)

Regardless of the cause or severity of a flood, there are several ways you can prepare to handle and recover:

  • Hire a professional to install check-valves in plumbing to prevent flood waters from backing up into the drains of your building.
  • Store enough non-perishable food and potable water for three days.
  • Make sure a First-Aid kit and medications are at the ready.
  • Stay informed. Make sure your “go bag” includes a hand-crank or battery-operated radio. Use it to tune to NOAA Weather Radio All Hazards.
  • Develop a personal/business evacuation and safety plan. Also, familiarize yourself with your community’s preparedness plan.
  • Keep your automobile fueled. If the flood affects gas station power, you might not be able to get gas for days.
  • If you are driving, when you approach a flooded road, turn around, don’t drown.

These are a just a few ideas to get you thinking. For a comprehensive list of everything you can do to prepare for a flood, check out the free guide produced by NOAA: Floods—the Awesome Power.

When a disaster strikes, prior planning and clear decisive action can help save lives. For the latest emergency management training for facility/building managers, contact Allied Universal, Inc. Our new Version 2.5 e-based training system offers the best emergency training system with automated and integrated features. Visit www.rjwestmore.com  for more information.

Would you be prepared if you had to evacuate a building?

Monday, February 6th, 2012

Here is some food for thought.

The information below is not all inclusive and is only intended to motivate you to GET PREPARED! Use your Allied Universal Online Training System TM or building-specific Emergency Manual and onsite training for more complete policies and procedures.

If a disaster of any kind strikes the building where you work or live, you will need to act quickly based on proper training. But not all situations necessitate evacuation. For instance, a power outage does not necessarily call for immediate evacuation. Further, depending upon the circumstances of the emergency (civil unrest for example), it might actually be safer to shelter in place inside the building.

Reaction time is very important in any emergency. You must be properly trained to react in the safest manner based on the ever changing, unique combination of circumstances. You should also coordinate with the qualified professionals in your building (or emergency responders) to evaluate the nature of the event, gather additional information, including the overall safety of the building and presence of hazardous materials systems (such as power, alarm systems, ventilation, mechanical systems, etc.)

If you hear an alarm, smell smoke, see fire or are instructed to evacuate, use your training and best judgment to immediately move to safety.

  • Assume all alarms are real.
  • Don’t panic. Stay calm.
  • Move quickly but do not run.
  • Call 911.
  • Grab your “Go Bag” and critical personal belongings if it is safe to do so. (Your preassembled Go Bag should have comfortable shoes, prescription medications, energy bar, water, glasses, etc.) [Remember, it could be several hours before you are readmitted to the building.]
  • Close doors behind you as you evacuate (but do not lock them). Emergency responders may need to gain access and Floor/Fire Wardens should be searching every room to make sure everyone has moved to safety.
  • Proceed to the nearest safe exit farthest from danger. Do not use the elevator.
  • Head to your predetermined Emergency Assembly Area—Safe Refuge Area and check in immediately. (If you are mobility-impaired in a building with fire-rated stairwells, you will move to the safest stairwell landing with your two assistance monitors (buddies) and wait for emergency responder assistance. If you are mobile and can evacuate safely, you might relocate within your building down to a safer floor or you might completely exit the building.)
  • Wait for any instructions from first responders or building personnel.
  • Do not re-enter the building until you have been instructed to do so by trained professionals.
  • If anyone has been injured, call 911 and inform onsite emergency responders and building personnel.
  • If you have a disability, make sure you inform building management and add yourself to the “Special Assistance List” BEFORE THE EMERGENCY. Learn the shortest, most accessible pathway for exiting from each area. Check with the building owner or property manager for approved evacuation routes, which (based on your unique special needs) should be incorporated as part of their Emergency Action Plan.
    • Allied Universal Online Training System TM users can add/remove themselves from a “Special Assistance List” that automatically notifies building personnel of you and your special needs.

Did you know that safety training is a crucial part of legal compliance for commercial properties? Tenants whose property managers use Allied Universal Training enjoy access to interactive, life-saving instruction available 24/7 right over the internet. Ask your building owner or manager about the Allied Universal System, which helps train tenants and floor wardens for disasters such as fires (which are the most common emergency), earthquakes, bomb threats, medical emergencies, power outages and more.

The Allied Universal Training System provides building-specific information for emergency personnel, so professionals are able to familiarize themselves with property blueprints before they arrive on scene. This type of information is extremely useful because it saves valuable time.

What’s more, the Allied Universal System alerts emergency personnel when individuals in member-buildings require special assistance during an evacuation. This notice includes individuals who are physically challenged, mobility impaired, have temporary or permanent disabilities, medical conditions, pregnancy or any other conditions that could impede or prevent them or others from safely descending stairwells without assistance.

Here are some more Allied Universal Training System 2.5 perks:

  • Everything is available online, including building-specific training and certification
  • Training complies with federal, state and local laws
  • Provides 24/7 training because seconds count when it comes to responding to emergencies.
  • Promotes a safety-oriented environment
  • Prepares you to react immediately
  • Advises about preliminary warning signs
  • Training is one of your best defenses against potentially fatal consequences.
  • Helps you from becoming a victim.
  • Shows you how to respond to hurricanes ahead of time. Because some emergencies are predictable, there is no excuse for failing to prepare.
  • Immediate action can save your life.
  • Provides information about how to respond to severe weather.   The U.S. is the most severe weather-prone country on earth. Flash floods, excessive rainfall, dam or levy breaches require proper training to mitigate water damage and save lives.

When a disaster strikes, prior planning and clear decisive action can help save lives. For the latest emergency management training for facility/building managers, contact Allied Universal, Inc. Our new Version 2.5 e-based training system offers the best emergency training system with automated and integrated features. Visit www.rjwestmore.com  for more information.

What does it take to go green?

Monday, January 16th, 2012

 

A hot topic among property owners and managers is “going green.” But what does that phrase really mean? How can you achieve the goal of practicing energy-efficient standards to protect and improve the environment? And can you “go green” without breaking the bank?

As a proud member of the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), we at Allied Universal are committed to sustainability. So we would like to offer a few explanations and suggestions for property managers and building owners to help sort through all of the hype.

  • What does that phrase “going green” really mean?

The folks at Earth Care say “going green” means using various alternatives to help save energy and the environment. This is a very broad definition because the practice of energy conservation and environmental protection is evolving. At first, just the invention of a few crazy hippies in the 1970s, the environmental movement is now big business.

Consider a recent story in The New York Times, which compared government subsidies to the gold rush, since developers of large-scale clean-energy projects are encouraged to cash in on stimulus spending by adopting green practices. The article discussed a ranch in San Louis Obispo wherein one million solar panels will provide enough power for 100,000 homes, at a cost of $1.6 billion. But subsidies are not limited to large corporations. Even homeowners can benefit from tax incentives like rebates for solar window installation and energy efficient appliances.

  • How can you achieve the goal of practicing energy-efficient standards to protect and improve the environment?

What would it take for the Average Joe to convert his own business and/or property to a facility that is energy efficient? Start small. Wherever you are on your sustainability journey, many options are available for improving performance. You needn’t hire a contractor to rip out all of your walls, ceilings and floors and replace the roof, lighting and parking structure all at once. Instead, find a sustainability consultant and ask what you can conservatively do to reduce your property’s carbon footprint.

  • Is it possible to “go green” without breaking the bank?

The journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step. And so it goes with going green. Simple things like starting a recycling program or switching from plastic plates in the cafeteria to eco-friendly productswill effectively help save the planet. Many such actions and products are so simple and affordable; you’ll wonder why you didn’t use them all along.

Are you prepared to Go Green?

One of the best ways to get going in the right direction is to join existing groups that promote earth-friendly construction. The US Green Building Council is one such organization, which is committed to a prosperous and sustainable future through cost-efficient and energy-saving green buildings. The council’s community of leaders is working to make green buildings available to everyone within a generation through programs such as LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design), which is redefining the way people think about the places where we live, work and learn.

An internationally recognized mark of excellence, LEED is a system which provides building owners and operators with a framework for identifying and implementing practical and measurable green building design, construction, operations and maintenance solutions. What’s more, the LEED system is set up to evaluate new construction, existing buildings including operations and maintenance, commercial interiors, cores and shells, schools, retail, healthcare, homes and neighborhood development. If you own or manage a facility that would benefit from a LEED-rating evaluation, contact the USGBC today.

When disaster strikes, prior planning and clear decisive action can help save lives. For the latest emergency management training for facility/building managers, contact Allied Universal, Inc. Our new Version 2.5 e-based training system offers the best emergency training system with automated and integrated features. Visit rjwestmore.com for more information.

How to Stop People from Tailgating at Your Building

Sunday, January 8th, 2012

Tail-gating can pose a security risk. Are you prepared?

As the NFL football playoff season enters a fever pitch, you might consider hosting a tailgate party before heading into the stadium for the big game. But tailgating of an entirely different sort may be putting your property at risk. Even if the security team at your building has things well in hand with turnstiles, documented access, PIN numbers or visitor badges, the practice of quickly slipping in behind someone who has passed through screening is called tailgating and is a very common technique for breaching building security. Is your building at risk?

The threat might start out innocently enough—with an employee opening a door and thoughtfully holding it open for others, or security personnel naively trusting and allowing entry of uniformed workers who are carrying heavy packages. But these seemingly common courtesies could put your company in harm’s way. So the way to protect your property is to develop, adopt and stringently adhere to anti-tailgating strategies.

At Allied Universal, we have come up with some simple suggestions for preventing tailgaters, built on the acronym “STOP TAILGATERS.”

Security First—the first step to prevent unauthorized entry to your building is to proactively develop a comprehensive security plan for your property.

Tell your tenants and employees the risk of ignoring security protocols. If they understand the tailgating can expose your building to domestic violence, theft, sabotage, and terrorism, they might be more inclined to follow the rules.

Open your doors only to people who have valid IDs and associated PINS (where necessary), or stop to sign in as visitors.

People who are already allowed access to your building might also present security risks if admitted to every area of the property. Since not all threats are external, restrict access for subpopulations for high-security areas such as laboratories, pharmacies, operating or equipment rooms and computer centers. You may want also want to restrict and track access to valuable equipment, sensitive files, copy machines and areas containing toxic chemicals.

Tailgating not only affects safety but building management practices as well. If your HVAC or lighting system is tied to occupancy, an influx of unexpected bodies could affect energy-spend.

Allow flexibility in your plan. The security system that is right for you will depend on the specific entry points you wish to secure, location of the entrance, the reason for controlling access to it and the flexibility of your budget.

Inaccurate headcounts during emergencies can lead to occupants unknowingly being left behind or emergency personnel needlessly searching for people who were never on the premises. So make sure that the system you adopt keeps accurate counts.

Leave security to professionals. If you have a security system in place and believe that your building is important enough to protect, why would you allow unauthorized access to it? For a fail-safe system, hire a team of pros.

Guards might be worth the expense. While you might be inclined to cut personnel costs by eliminating security guards, you should consider a simple cost-benefit analysis to decide whether full-time security guards might be right for you. Guards can visually confirm badges match the people seeking to gain entry.

Anti-tailgating programs are most effective if they are multi-pronged. So consider adopting more than one strategy for keeping tailgaters at bay.

Timothy McVeigh was granted access to the Oklahoma City building he blew up long before he committed the crime. So, when it comes to granting access to unauthorized personnel, better safe than sorry.

Everyone in your building should be aware of the safekeeping culture. So consider holding safety seminars or providing materials that clearly communicate your security system.

Risks to building safety frequently result in crimes carried out by someone you didn’t even know was in your building. So make sure your security team understands their role as gatekeepers.

Smart cards house multiple credentials on one card. Consider issuing these to building tenants, employees and visitors to electronically track traffic.

Tailgating strategies are easy to retrofit and complement most existing security systems. So adopt those systems that will work best for you and then build a culture that encourages adherence to the plan. Even if you have the best security system on the market, your safety measures will fail if occupants don’t buy in.

When a disaster strikes, prior planning and clear decisive action can help save lives. For the latest emergency management training for facility/building managers, contact Allied Universal, Inc. Our new Version 2.5 e-based training system offers the best emergency training system with automated and integrated features. Visit rjwestmore.com for more information.

Disaster Recap 2011

Tuesday, January 3rd, 2012

2011 Was a Banner Year for Disasters

Hundreds of thousands of people’s lives were forever changed by natural and manmade disasters in 2011–from tornadoes to floods, wildfires to hurricanes, earthquakes to tsunamis to terrorist attacks and everything in between, across the world, preparation paid off and recovery response was remarkable.

In the United States alone, in 2011, the American Red Cross launched 137 domestic disaster relief operations in 46 states and territories in order to help people recover from the fires, floods, hurricanes and tornadoes that rocked the United States. Internationally, disaster recovery extended to the earthquake in Japan and continued to tsunami response in Thailand.

“The disasters we faced in 2011 affected many lives,” said Regional Red Cross Director Tina Labellarte. “Red Cross workers across the country worked tirelessly to make sure people had a safe place to stay, food to eat and help getting their lives back on track.”

This year, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) reports that there were 99 Major Disaster Declarations, 29 Emergency Declarations and 114 Fire Management Assistance Declarations. As one of the most active years for disasters in recent history comes to a close and Americans ring in a new year, FEMA is encouraging people to Resolve to be Ready in 2012 by making a resolution to be prepared for emergencies. And, as we recently reported, we encourage Allied Universal Training System clients and friends to start the New Year off right by resolving to be ready.

But, apart from signing up with FEMA, how exactly can you as a building owner and or property manager, prepare for disasters in 2012? Here are our top 10 suggestions for a safe and sane 2012:

  • Make an emergency kit. If you have yet to prepare a go-bag for your car, office and home, don’t let another month go by without putting one together.
  • Protect your computer. Cyber threats are very real. Don’t take electronic safety for granted.
  • Be aware of your surroundings. The threat of terrorism is a reality that cannot be ignored. Remain vigilant about suspicious behavior and report anything unusual to authorities.
  • Protect your property from threat of fire. Install fire sprinklers, alarms and extinguishers. Also, tour your property and make sure flammable products are out of harm’s way.
  • Guard your kids against disease. Due diligence will reveal that boosters are beneficial. Make sure your children are inoculated.
  • Go green. As members of the Green Building Council, we support efforts to create and protect a prosperous and sustainable future through cost-efficient and energy-saving green buildings. We are part of a community of leaders working to make green buildings available to everyone within a generation.
  • Prepare for regional disasters. If you live in California, you should understand how to prepare for earthquake. In Kansas, learn about tornadoes. And in coastal communities, make sure you understand tsunamis and hurricanes. But wherever you are, take the time to learn about each and every disaster since this year has taught us that disasters of any kind can strike virtually anywhere.
  • Stay Connected. Experts agree that social media will continue to play an important role in emergency management in the year ahead. In our continuing effort to lead the way where disaster communication is concerned, we have introduced a new interactive Facebook Fanpage. Check it often to learn about disasters and emergency management.
  • Know your building. To be prepared in the event of any emergency, you should understand the ins and outs of your own building as well as the proper way to evacuate should disaster strike. The Allied Universal Training System Version 2. 5 helps commercial buildings with compliance to fire life safety codes. Our interactive, building-specific e-learning training system motivates and rewards tenants instantly! It’s a convenient and affordable solution to all of the training needs of your building(s).
  • Above all, in 2012 and beyond…BE SAFE!

When a disaster strikes, prior planning and clear decisive action can help save lives. For the latest emergency management training for facility/building managers, contact Allied Universal, Inc. Our new Version 2.5 e-based training system offers the best emergency training system with automated and integrated features. Visit rjwestmore.com for more information.

Resolve to be Ready – The Government Wants You to Make New Year’s Resolutions

Monday, December 19th, 2011

With wildfires, droughts, historic flooding and several other disasters, 2011 proved to be quite a year for emergency managers. To help with what is expected to be a turbulent 2012, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) recently announced the Resolve to be Ready in 2012 campaign. The purpose is to promote individual and business preparedness in the face of disasters.

FEMA is encouraging the private sector to be more self-sufficient in its management of disasters. After such a busy year as 2011, the reserves of FEMA and other organizations are sparse. The private sector can help itself by limiting losses incurred following disasters or by preventing damage altogether through proper planning and safeguards.

Many training materials and tips for improving readiness can be found through the site Ready.gov:

  • Multi-language communication materials are available in several languages including Chinese, Japanese, Spanish, French, and Hindi, among others.
  • Voluntary Private Sector Preparedness Accreditation and Certification Programs are intended to help organizations to follow proven standards for optimal safety. Followed standards come from three sources— the American Society for Industrial Security, the British Standards Institution, and the National Fire Protection Association.
  • Voluntary certifications through Ready.gov are the result of a partnership between the Department of Homeland Security and the private sector and are designed to promote self-sufficiency and a decreased reliance on government aid.
  • Disaster kit contents are detailed on the site, including the importance of following the rule of storing one gallon of water per person per day.
  • Pledges can be taken at www.ready.gov/resolve, which certifies an individual or business entity is taking necessary steps to be ready to act during a disaster.
  • Free materials including the publication Ready Business are available through the site.
  • Business continuity plans that will allow companies to resume business operations quickly are fully explained on Ready.gov. Companies are encouraged to consider work-at-home arrangements, backup data storage, and other safeguards that will prevent delays in business.
  • Disaster planning exercise training materials can be downloaded from the site and used to run real-world drills.

Business owners and facility managers are encouraged to offer readiness tips, including:

  • Incorporate readiness information and products into any holiday parties. Perhaps you can provide a NOAA radio as a party gift.
  • Need a theme for your party? While “disaster preparedness” might not sound too exciting, you could build a fun volcano or rent a fake snow machine to bring some lightness to the party while raising awareness.
  • Perform fire drills during the holiday season to ensure tenants don’t forget about safety.
  • Hang up various print and electronic banners available for free from Ready.Gov.

Resolving to be ready does not mean you have to live a constant state of paranoia or fear of disaster. It simply means implementing the right practices, products, or facilities that limit your building’s exposure to harm. Your tenants and their employees will have confidence in your safety features, which can prove invaluable in an emergency situation.

When a disaster strikes, prior planning and clear decisive action can help save lives. For the latest emergency management training for facility/building managers, contact Allied Universal, Inc. Our new Version 2.5 e-based training system offers the best emergency training system with automated and integrated features. Visit rjwestmore.com for more information and remember to BE SAFE.

New Allied Universal Facebook Fan Page—We Hope You Really “Like” It!

Monday, December 12th, 2011

We are pleased to announce our new Fan Page on Facebook! The Allied Universal Training System Fan Page is intended as a meeting place for emergency management professionals to “virtually gather” to share information. Our goal is to facilitate engaging discussions about disaster preparedness, fire life safety and building management among Facebook users around the world.

We remain committed to continually advance our social media presence as a service to the community—to help business leaders, property owners and managers, first-responders, healthcare professionals and everyday folks prepare for and recover from disasters of all kinds. Serving commercial real estate companies for more than 20 years, we at Allied Universal Inc. offer a state-of-the-art Training System, which was recently upgraded to Version 2.5, to building managers and property owners throughout the country.

Our fully-integrated system allows property management companies to administer one site or an entire portfolio, with all users in the same system. Property Managers can train occupants, floor wardens, and fire safety directors, with all user-training and testing recorded. Subscribers also enjoy quick-access to building-specific Emergency Responder information and other resources. What’s more, the Allied Universal Training System Our system automatically routes certifications and sends compliance reports to every tenant-subscriber.

Our fully-automated system features personalized certificates, which are instantly sent to users via email upon course completion. And annual reminders for each training-module are also automatically sent to each user along with quarterly employee-compliance reports, which are sent to every tenant.

An added benefit, the Allied Universal Training System sends out automatic notifications to local fire departments. And higher-level users can automatically create real time Special Assistance and Floor Warden lists and get automatic notification of updates to Special Assistance, Floor Warden and Fire Safety Director lists. Automatic updates and maintenance make the system even easier to use.

Fans of our Facebook page will receive updates about our training system, further enhancing our innovative service. We also want to encourage clients to talk to each other, to share tips about best practices for emergency and disaster preparedness and recovery.

Highlights of our new Fan Page:

  • Use it as a social media gateway to our corporate blog, RJ the Firedog blog, Twitter feed, and YouTube content.
  • Take advantage of information available through daily posts which will detail the latest news and best practices in emergency management—covering a myriad of topics such as earthquake preparedness, indoor air quality, government agency news, fire safety, evacuation procedures, disease prevention and CDC warnings, cyber threats and many other related topics.
  • Learn about industry events such as conferences for emergency management and first- responder professionals as well as security training summits.
  • View engaging photos and videos relative to emergency management communications and training.

Like our Fan Page today to become a part of the best emergency preparedness group on the web. As our fan base grows, we hope the page will emerge as a central hub for networking and information-sharing for dedicated emergency management and building management professionals, property owners, building managers and safety personnel across the country.

When a disaster strikes, prior planning and clear decisive action can help save lives. For the latest emergency management training for facility/building managers, contact Allied Universal, Inc. Our new Version 2.5 e-based training system offers the best emergency training system with automated and integrated features. Visit rjwestmore.com for more information and remember to BE SAFE.

Occupy Wall Street Movement—History and Risks to Property

Tuesday, October 25th, 2011

Are you prepared for an occupy movement?

The recent Occupy Wall Street protests brought more than 100,000 protestors to New York City on October 15th and now have reached 70 major cities. While the movement does not have official leadership, its main goals are to bring awareness to income inequality in the country, especially in regards to the “1%” of individuals who earn and hold a disproportionate amount of wealth, up to 40 percent in some studies. The popularity of the protests has even made them a NYC tourist attraction.

While many of the protesters are undoubtedly pacifists, there is the potential for violence, as recent clashes with law enforcement have demonstrated. The risks are inherent to property whenever large groups of people gather to vociferously demand something that is difficult to tangibly achieve. As time goes on, entrenched protestors might turn to mischief simply out of boredom or frustration. Building owners who encounter these types of protests should prepare to take steps to make sure their property remains protected at all times.

The first priority of property ownership is to ensure the safety of tenants, residents and/or employees. The second objective is to protect the integrity of the building. Here are some ideas for steps you could take as a property owner or manager to ensure both:

  • Post signage on your property stating that trespassing and/or camping is not permitted. Numerous signs will help you delineate your property. This type of signage could also help deter people from using your space in other objectionable ways.
  • Coordinate with local law enforcement. They should have a plan for where protestors would be allowed to congregate and which areas would be considered off limits.
  • Use barriers to deny access to important areas. If you have a sensitive part of your business that will be closed to short-term protests, then consider closing it down or blocking if entirely to avoid any issues.
  • Use window film to block the view into lower-level offices. You wouldn’t want tenants to feel harassed or nervous about the potential for violence if a group gathers outside.
  • Install video cameras with signs that clearly state the fact that your area is under constant surveillance. While video won’t likely stop organized protests, it can deter violent or vandalistic acts.
  • During the actual protests, consider hiring uniformed security officers to guard the perimeter of your building to discourage criminal behavior.

Hopefully, any protests in your area will remain peaceful expressions of free speech and will not turn to violence or unrest. By taking some proactive measures, you can better protect your building and tenants from potential harm

When a disaster strikes, prior planning and clear decisive action can help save lives.  For the latest emergency management training for facility/building managers, contact Allied Universal, Inc. Our new Version 2.0 e-based training system offers the best emergency training system with automated and integrated features. Visit rjwestmore.com for more information and remember to BE SAFE.

The Allied Universal Training System is User-Friendly

Sunday, October 23rd, 2011

The Allied Universal Training System is extremely easy to navigate. Sign up today!