Store front boarded up with protect graffiti

Civil Unrest

Protecting yourself, your employees, your customers and your business during civil unrest.

 “I think that you will all agree that we are living in most interesting times. (Hear, hear.) I never remember myself a time in which our history was so full, in which day by day brought us new objects of interest, and, let me say also, new objects for anxiety. (Hear, hear.)” – Joseph Chamberlin; 1898

 2020 has certainly brought us “interesting times” as we continue to navigate the far-reaching effects of the COVID-19 crisis and now the civil unrest following in the wake of the George Floyd and Black Lives Matter protests. Business owners continue to face new anxieties over an uncertain future.

 Civil unrest creates unique challenges for businesses.  Vandalism, stolen or damaged goods, and extensive property damage are just some of the concerns business owners face.  There must also be consideration for the safety of employees, customers and themselves.  With this in mind it is crucial to take steps to mitigate the potential damages and risks to your business during times of unrest.

Property Vulnerability

How vulnerable is your property?  Conduct an inspection of your property and the surrounding areas.

  • Do you have items outside your building such as tables, benches, flowerpots? It may be wise to move these items indoors after hours. If they belong to neighboring businesses, consider asking them to remove or secure the items when they are not open.
  • Consider boarding up windows and doors to reduce the risk of having glass broken.
  • Check locks to ensure they secure properly on all doors and windows.
  • Consider utilizing alarm systems, motion sensing external lighting and security cameras. Review these measures to ensure there are no gaps in coverage.

 Keep up to date on information

Make sure you are staying informed.  Find out how local authorities are sharing information and make sure you are following.  Also tune in to local news outlets and social media for potential events which could lead to civil unrest in your area.

Open for business?

If you suspect there could be civil unrest near your business during business hours, you may want to consider altering your hours to avoid putting employees and customers in a dangerous situation.  If you decide to go this route it is important to communicate these changes with staff and customers to prevent confusion.

 Make a plan.

In the event that civil unrest occurs while your business is open it is important that a plan has been crafted and shared with your staff on how to respond and avoid unnecessary conflict.  Create an evacuation plan that allows staff and customers to leave the property safely and make sure everyone understands their rolls for securing the property (such as locking doors, cases, etc.).

If someone aggressive comes into your establishment and confronts staff, make sure they are educated on de-escalation techniques.  Have a staff member who is assigned with calling 911 to prevent the bystander effect.

 Talk to your insurance agent.

It is important to contact your insurance agent if you are concerned about civil unrest impacting your business.  Your agent can review your policy and discuss “what if” scenarios as well as offer risk management guidance and insurance solutions.  Contact us today for more information.