Sunstates Blog

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Archive for the ‘Pandemic Preparedness’ Category

COVID-19 Update: What Sunstates Security is doing

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Sunstates Security is taking the COVID-19 situation very seriously and continues to actively search for ways to increase the safety of our staff as well as protect our operations and our capabilities to continue servicing our clients. Our executive team are in communication on a daily basis to review events and update pandemic safety guidelines and operating protocols to ensure that we are caring for and supporting both our employees and our clients.

For our employees…

Sunstates has a high level of appreciation for our employees, and our first and foremost concern is for their safety and well being. Our goal is to keep people employed while providing them with a safe workplace and clear operating protocol in line with CDC guidelines. Examples of this include:

  • Ongoing safety communications/resources:
    • On March 16th Sunstates began providing ongoing information and resources to keep employees informed on topics such as COVID-19 Safety & Preparedness Bulletin, Hand Washing & Sanitizing Guidelines and Social Distancing Strategies Protocol.
    • Provision of cleaning and sanitizing supplies at offices and posts
    • Sharing important information about medical coverage to include the availability of Telemedicine visits and COVID-19 testing
  • COVID-19 Training: the Sunstates training department developed and released a mandated COVID-19 training module for all employees on March 16th, easily accessible and tracked through our online LMS.
  • Continued Employment: Sunstates is doing everything possible to keep our current employees who have been affected by client coverage reduction actively working by cross-training to fill in at other locations, refining schedules, adjusting to 32-hour work weeks and offering opportunities to help fulfill additional service requests through the Sunstates Mutual Aid Rapid Response Team (SMARRT). On March 20th our Human Resources Department distributed resource information regarding government benefits and has expanded internal company policy to allow those whose positions are negatively impacted by COVID-19 to retain employee status with the capability to come back to work at Sunstates without having to reapply or losing tenure once the emergency situation has passed.
  • New Protocol for Recruiting & Onboarding to Ensure Safety and Social Distancing:
    • Phone and/or video interviews using multiple platforms such as Skype & Roundee
    • Staggering timing for hiring events, in-person interviews, sizing for uniforms, etc. to ensure limited number of people present at one time and allowance for six foot distancing
    • Changing location or size of training classes to allow for adequate distancing; implementation of live stream video training where approved by state licensing agencies 

For our clients….

Sunstates Security continues service to our clients while working with them to increased and/or decreased coverage requirements related to the pandemic. As the situation evolves, Sunstates is working to find creative solutions to fulfill client requirements and meet our own internal quality standards while ensuring safe social distancing and compliance with CDC guidelines. Examples include:

  • Implementation of Virtual Quality Assurance Checks
  • Online video meetings with clients versus in person visits
  • Partnering clients to develop protocol and assist with new pandemic related requirements such as temperature checks
  • Provide PPE to officers at client sites when needed

Our goal as a company is to safely continue to fulfill our service responsibilities while also serving as a resource to our clients during this difficult time.

We feel that the implementation of strategic changes to our processes and operating procedures will allow us to safely continue to take care of our employees and clients, while helping to stimulate the economy through the continuous creation of new employment opportunities throughout the COVID-19 crises. Please do not hesitate to reach out to the Sunstates management staff or search for employment opportunities through our website at www.SunstatesSecurity.com.

Written by Sunstates Security

April 2nd, 2020 at 9:04 pm

The Coronavirus Pandemic: Is Your Organization Ready?

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Recent pandemics, such as the Ebola virus, bird flu and others, have revealed many vulnerabilities in our ability to prepare for the effects of a large-scale pandemic. When epidemics begin overseas, as the coronavirus has, we watch it with a detached, “hope it doesn’t get here” mentality.

China’s attempt to lock down the travel of 11 million people to contain a virus that has already killed nearly 1,000 (as of this writing) and sickened thousands has only been partially successful.

Cases have already been reported outside of mainland China, including in the U.S. No doubt many more are coming.

The situation with the new coronavirus, officially known as 2019-nCoV, is rapidly changing. Things are so fast-moving that it may already be out of date. But, as with any pandemic, there are three key strategies to mitigate threats to personnel, security and operations:

  • Stay informed
  • Develop a plan
  • Prepare for contingencies

Stay Informed

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is confirming new cases of this sometimes-deadly respiratory disease almost daily. As this is being written, the CDC has told travelers to avoid all nonessential travel to China, while monitoring possible coronavirus cases in 26 U.S. states.

We recommend monitoring authoritative sources, such as the CDC and other government health agencies. Please do not give credence to unknown sources on social media, which can spread disinformation and panic.

Plan and Prepare

Some actions are obvious: curtail all corporate travel to areas where cases of the coronavirus have been confirmed, and urge employees to take the same medical and health precautions they would to guard against the flu or any serious, contagious disease.

Beyond that, make plans that you’ll hopefully never have to implement, including:

  • Develop policies and operations to screen and identify potentially infected individuals before they enter your building, campus or area.
  • Prepare contingency plans in case key personnel are sick and unavailable, such as cross-training other employees.
  • Prepare contingency plans to ensure the continuation of key operations, such as cross-training or moving resources.
  • Educate employees about the symptoms of the coronavirus.
  • Ensure that possibly sick employees stay home to lower the risk of infecting others.

If your organization already has existing security or business continuity plans, review and update them as new information about the coronavirus and its spread develops. Even plans that were developed just a few years ago may no longer be up to date. We know more about the spread of disease than we did before. We also have new security and access-control technology available.

Whether security is provided in-house or by an outside partner, make sure there’s a plan to backfill personnel and support operations in the event of widespread absences.

At Sunstates, the foundation of our business continuity plan is the Sunstates Mutual Aid Rapid Response Team (SMARRT) program. Specially trained and equipped team members are ready to fill any personnel gaps and provide security at any client’s site at a moment’s notice.

One final note: It’s better to have spent time and resources training for a pandemic that doesn’t happen than being caught unprepared by one that does.

Sunstates Security has been helping clients create customized emergency and business continuity plans since 1998, including pandemic contingencies. Contact us today to find out how we can help you.

Written by Sunstates Security

February 4th, 2020 at 3:25 pm