How security companies can help during emergency situations


By Marian Pierre, CEO and founder of CGI Protects

The reality of hurricanes, flooding and other unforeseen disasters have unfortunately become a part of doing business today. I lost everything during Hurricane Katrina: My home, everything at my office and I couldn’t believe the devastation in the city. Then I started getting calls from employers and employees, who were dispatched to every part of this country, and were desperate to save their business. I would like to share my lessons learned from Katrina to help businesses prepare for emergency evacuation and show how security companies can aid their community in rebuilding.

Prepare Your Business
Plan to stay in business by talking to your employees and preparing a plan to protect your investment.
- Prepare a disaster protection and recovery plan or hire a security consultant to help determine which staff, materials, procedures and equipment are absolutely necessary to keep the business operating.

- Utilize an IP video surveillance system so you can see video from your business or home from almost anywhere in the world

- Plan ahead to hire security guards to help run contingency plans including:
◦ Business site protection
◦ Transportation needs
◦ Asset and fund transfers
◦ Executive and personnel protection

- Plan what you will do if your building, plant or store is not accessible:
◦ Consider if you can run the business from a different location or from your home.
◦ Develop relationships with other companies to use their facilities in case a disaster makes your location unusable.

- Learn about programs, services and resources at U.S. Small Business Administration.

In addition to protecting your business, also consider how you can aid your community and employees. The importance lies within the fact, that if and when such a disaster occurs, workers may be located far away from friends, family and home, leaving them stuck. So it’s important to help employees think about a personal emergency disaster plan for their families. Find a security company that has experience in handling emergencies and are ready to help your community from armed security to basic logistics and assistance.

As the CEO of CGI Protects for 17 years, Ms. Pierre helped the company rebound after Hurricane Katrina. Throughout her professional career, she has been devoted to serving her community and empowering women through politics, education, social involvement, and economics through an organization she founded, Women Organized Mobilized for Empowerment Now (W.O.M.E.N.) Inc.