Heightened awareness for the Healthcare and Public Health sector: Brussels Attack
Members of the Healthcare and Public Health (HPH) Community and
HPH Sector Members-
Your SCC and GCC leadership participated in a Department of
Homeland Security call held for Critical Infrastructure
Cross-Sector Council leaders this afternoon to discuss last
night’s terror attacks in Belgium and protective measures we can
take during this period of heightened awareness. There are no
specific credible threats against the United States at this time
but one can never overlook copycats or homegrown violent
extremists. Anyone with employees in the affected region or
planning a trip to Brussels should refer to the State Department
(www.state.gov) for up to
Incidents like this give us another opportunity to
review our response plans with our employees for situational
awareness, maintaining vigilance for behaviors, objects, and
activities that depart from the norm of their experience, that
are out of place for the area, that prompt suspicion, or that
otherwise raise safety or security concerns:
Review your security plans and exercise them regularly, using
scenarios based on tactics recently used.
Reinforce with your employees that they are well positioned to
apply: familiarity with their surroundings; attentiveness
to what’s common and varies from the norm; vigilance throughout
their shifts, across work areas, and in places they visit off
duty; and reporting in a timely manner to appropriate
Review Active Shooter, Suspicious Activity Reporting, and
Counter-IED preparedness in training and awareness initiatives
and in organizational safety briefings.
Ensure proper functioning of emergency communications equipment
and conduct regular tests.
Resources for each of these activities are provided below.
In addressing the importance of reporting, a key point merits
emphasis. Previous investigations of successful terror
attacks or serious violent crimes uncovered witnesses who, after
the fact, commented on what they had seen, why it had
bothered them but did not report it. Expanding the
“See something – Say something” concept, guiding parameters for
employees can be along these lines:
You’ve seen something, You’ve heard something, You’re right to be
concerned, Maybe it’s nothing, But at times it’s been something,
So please say something and give the authorities the chance to
make a difference.
Early recognition and reporting of potential terrorist activity
is the first line of defense against those who intend to harm us
and our critical infrastructure.