Planning for the unexpected

August 30, 2010
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We make plans to get to a safe place when there’s bad weather. We know where the emergency exits are in case of a fire. We (hopefully) have backed up our important files in case there’s damage to our office. But do we have a plan for a random act of violence?

I’ve written about disaster plans for firms a few times in this blog after firms experienced fires. Some firms aren’t prepared in case a fire happens, but some are. I wonder if firms (and businesses in general) have a plan in place in case someone decides to start shooting at the law firm’s building.

This happened last week at Barnes & Thornburg in Indianapolis, when the husband of a former partner sat atop a parking garage next to the firm, randomly shooting a gun before taking his own life. Two of those bullets struck the firm’s outside walls.

The firm alerted employees by e-mail of the situation and advised everyone to move to the interior of the building.

Companies post signs where the exits are and tell employees where to go in case of a tornado, but how often are we told what to do in case a situation like the one that happened last week occurs? Unfortunately, we live in a world where you can’t predict human behavior and don’t know when someone might decide to come into your office with a weapon or be sitting just a few feet away taking shots at your building.

Has your firm addressed a plan for these types of emergency situations?


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