Chicago, IL (PRWEB) March 26, 2012
Chicago businesses should engage in proactive planning and take steps now to increase security, protect their property and coordinate efforts with local law enforcement in advance of the NATO Summit at McCormick Place on May 20-21.
At a client meeting recently sponsored by Hub International Limited (Hub), a leading global insurance brokerage firm headquartered in downtown Chicago, security and risk management experts provided an overview of steps to take to reduce risk and prepare for potential business disruptions resulting from demonstrations. MSA Security, an industry leader in high consequence threat protection and specialized training, also participated in the event and presented on security best practices.
Protest groups connected with the Occupy Movement are expected to converge on Chicago, beginning in early to mid-April. A reemergence of the movement is expected along with increased funding, as evidenced by the organizers leasing office space near McCormick Place. Street closures, motorcades and planned events, including a protest march scheduled for Saturday, May 19 from Daley Plaza to McCormick Place, are expected to affect transportation in downtown Chicago.
According to security expert Patrick Devlin, Vice President, Consulting Services, MSA Security, businesses and residential buildings in close proximity to McCormick Place are at greatest risk, but are not the only potential targets for protesters. “Downtown businesses should assess their level of risk”, said Devlin. “Expect a wide diversity of tactics from these protest groups, including both violent and non-violent acts.”
While noting that banks, financial organizations and energy companies are frequently in the crosshairs of the Occupy Movement, Devlin indicated that multi-tenant buildings with retail establishments that are open to the general public are also higher risk targets, as are establishments located next to or near privately-owned public spaces where protesters may camp. In addition to property damage, other potential problems include cyber-attacks as well as business disruption due to employees being unable to get to work or access properties.
According to Mike DuBose, Vice President and Senior Risk Consultant for Hub, there are a number of potential adverse outcomes that may require emergency response and crisis management. DuBose cautioned clients that if violence erupts, employees may choose not to return to work or they may be unable to leave the workplace due to safety concerns.
“Maintaining employee safety should be your primary concern,” said DuBose. “Due to transportation disruptions, reduced staffing is the most likely scenario. For businesses that do not have emergency response and business continuity plans in place, there’s still time to identify your crisis management team, agree on procedures and develop an action plan.”
To help Chicago businesses, HUB International has developed a preparation checklist which is available on http://www.hubinternational.com/nato.
Headquartered in Chicago, IL, Hub International Limited is a leading global insurance brokerage that provides a broad array of property and casualty, life and health, employee benefits, investment and risk management products and services through offices located in the United States, Canada and Brazil.
Director, Media Relations
Hub International Limited