A simple plan

In these times of uncertainty, we wonder what our daily lives in America will be like now that the ”enemy” has touched us all with such catastrophic impact. Not only have our attitudes about security changed, the standards of security are changing as well.

It has already changed in many businesses, at large social events, and will inevitably change in almost everything we do. No longer do we have the luxury of not having to think about safety and security at every interval of our daily lives. How it will change will not totally be realized for months or even years as we phase in better security methods, procedures and technology.

Out of every tragedy, new and expanded business is born, and the events of and following Sept. 11, 2001, are no exception. You’ll see a significant increase in the sale and use of electronic cameras, access control devices and other electronic advances that monitor traffic of every sort.

You’ll also see the increased use of highly specialized electronic devices such as retina and thumb print access control readers. You’ll see the advanced use of voice recognition systems. There will be a bigger demand for professional security officers and an upgrade in their training and wages.

Americans will have to develop a key component to security called patience. We will need patience, and lots of it, at airports, transits, bus and train facilities. We will have to become accustomed to repeated searches every time we enter or exit a border.

How do we individually feel about working in tall buildings? What becomes the value of the top floor compared to the bottom floor? As company owners, we learned a hard lesson not to house all of our employees and records in one location. Will the value of downtown property decrease since it is now considered in the potential ”Target Zone”?

Innovative solutions such as videoconferencing are already being used, eliminating the risk of traveling.

During times like these, we also have panic security buys, impulsive purchases such as two I recently heard about from a contact. The first was for a gas mask; the second was a full bio-hazmat suit.

You can still provide a good level of personal security for you and your family without wearing these contraptions. Develop and implement a game plan, and discuss it periodically to refresh family members’ minds.

Before, when you went to a sporting event, you didn’t worry about exits. Now, the first thing you should do is look for the exits nearest your seats, walk your kids from your seats to the exit and designate a meeting spot in case you get separated or an unexpected event takes place.

Is there an option to tighter and stricter security measures? Not unless you want to allow a repeat of what recently happened in New York, Washington, D.C., and Pennsylvania.

We can still enjoy our lifestyles of the past with some simple and consistent thought processes and good security habits. The bottom line: Think security and think escape route in all facets of your life.

Americans are resolved not to let the enemy prevent us from engaging in events that bring us daily pleasure.

Timothy A. Dimoff is president and founder of SACS Consulting and Investigative Services and a nationally recognized expert on security issues. He can be reached at (330) 255-1101 or via e-mail at [email protected].