Be Prepared That Everything We’ve Planned May Not Last Beyond the First Day


Do you have an after-action review ready for your security and surveillance teams?

By now, most security and surveillance departments, working with senior leadership, have pretty much determined what they will do to protect their guests and team members to reopen after the Covid-19 forced casino shutdowns.

The plans for how this will be done are in place. Where guests will enter the property, how they will be checked and monitored as they enter the checkpoints, whether they are allowed to wear masks or not, requirements for social distancing in restaurants, bars and on gaming floors, as well as sanitation protocols are decided.

The same goes for team members and even more so. It’s critical that we ensure that team members are healthy before they enter the property to interact with guests and other employees on the casino floor to prevent infected individuals from spreading the virus and initiating an outbreak.

Most properties are focusing on their team to prevent an incident from occurring. Requiring team members to stay home or go home if they feel ill, taking their temperatures before they enter the building to isolate and bar entry to those with an elevated temperature, requiring masks and gloves be worn where applicable (especially on the gaming floor), limiting number of team members on break at one time, etc., and other measures are part of the whole process to protect everyone on the property.

Surveillance departments have also adjusted their duties to include assisting security at entry points to ensure guests and employees wearing masks briefly drop those masks to be identified, and to aid social distancing requirements for all.

We have our emergency action plans in place and are ready to adapt our plans to all emergencies and critical incidents, including another world-wide pandemic. This is being done now behind the scenes at gaming properties across the country and around the world. We got this!

Of course, everything we’ve planned may not last beyond the first day. As someone once famously said, “no plan survives the first contact with the enemy,” a fact well known by security chiefs the world over. We will have to tweak our plans as we go and adjust to unintended consequences of our actions. This is normal for us all in our industry, particularly for our security and surveillance teams who are prepared to deal with and adjust to the unknown and unpredictable.

So, we’re ready, but what’s next?

We’re not done. We’ll get through this crisis but now we what do we do to prepare for the next one? After all, the pundits and medical professionals are already telling us “it ain’t over” and theses a second and maybe worse wave coming!

That may or may not be true; however, as security professionals, we must prepare for that scenario to happen.

Security teams, along with their senior leadership, should perform an After-Action Review of their response to the Covid-19 pandemic. Items to discuss include:

  • What went well? Which steps were successful?
  • What went wrong? What could have been done better?
  • How do we identify the indicators or pre-cursors of such an event or risk faster and more effectively?
  • What could we have done to be better prepared for such an event?
  • What can we do now to prepare for a future event?
  • Are there materials and resources that should be identified and stored?
  • What technology, systems, or other equipment or resources that support business continuity can be used?
  • Were there any positive gains that were made during the crisis that the company can benefit from?
  • And finally, what improvements should be made to your plans and operations in case there is a “second wave” or another crisis that may arise?

What you do now to learn from what happened to us all will help you in the future, whatever it brings.

As security professionals, this is what we do and where we shine. Don’t “waste this crisis.” Use it to better prepare your team, your property, and your fellow team members and leaders.

“We got this!”

Jennifer Boss