Hostile Events Preparedness: The 2020 FB-ISAO Workshop Series

by Andy Jabbour, Managing Director, FB-ISAO

TL;DR:

  • FB-ISAO’s Preparedness Goal: “Secure and resilient houses of worship, faith-based organizations, charities, and other non-profits with the capabilities required to prevent, protect against, mitigate, respond to, and recover from the threats and hazards that pose the greatest risk.”
  • FB-ISAO is working closely with the Department of Homeland Security, local InfraGard chapters, and fusion centers to develop a series of exercises around the country to help participants understand and prepare for hostile events.
  • Hostile Events encompass a variety of events involving the killing or attempt to kill in public, where actions can be taken to prevent or reduce additional deaths or injuries. This includes active shooter incidents, workplace violence and workplace attacks, lone actor and low-tech terrorism, complex coordinated terrorist attacks, and other related activities.

Whether one wants to be great at sports, music, art, academics, or anything – it takes time, effort, and commitment. The Patriots haven’t dominated the NFL, nor has the US Women’s National Soccer Team overshadowed the rest of the teams in recent FIFA World Cups, because of luck, but through hard work, practice and a commitment to winning.

So it is with personal and team distinction, so it is at organizational preparedness. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) have defined a “National Preparedness Goal.”

The National Preparedness Goal defines what it means for the whole community to be prepared for all types of disasters and emergencies. The goal itself is succinct:

“A secure and resilient nation with the capabilities required across the whole community to prevent, protect against, mitigate, respond to, and recover from the threats and hazards that pose the greatest risk.”

These risks include events such as natural disasters, disease pandemics, chemical spills and other manmade hazards, terrorist attacks and cyber attacks. – from the FEMA website, accessed 16 July 2019 (and see the complete National Preparedness Goal document for more.)

For FB-ISAO members, we can restate that goal to be: “Secure and resilient houses of worship, faith-based organizations, charities, and other non-profits with the capabilities required to prevent, protect against, mitigate, respond to, and recover from the threats and hazards that pose the greatest risk.” To support that goal, and with an assessment of the current threats and risks facing our community today, FB-ISAO is planning and executing a series of workshops around the country with a focus on hostile events preparedness.

As defined by Gate 15, Hostile Events encompass a variety of events involving the killing or attempt to kill in public, where actions can be taken to prevent or reduce additional deaths or injuries. This includes active shooter incidents, workplace violence and workplace attacks, lone actor and low-tech terrorism, complex coordinated terrorist attacks, and other related activities.

FB-ISAO continues to encourage the application of a progressive, building-block approach to effective preparedness and we will continue to provide free web-based opportunities for hostile events education for members.

Register here for the next “Hostile Event Preparedness for the Community of Faith” webinar on 13 February, 2020! FB-ISAO posts all its public events on the FB-ISAO events page which can be accessed here.

In addition to the webinars, our team is continuing the development of a series to educate members on the Hostile Events Attack Cycle. The first TLP WHITE post in April of 2019, and can be read here: From New Zealand to New York: Understanding Behavioral Indicators & the Hostile Events Attack Cycle.

To build on these, and to further enhance members’ and others’ preparedness, our team is planning a series of workshops to be executed around the country this fall and in early 2020, with a focus on hostile events preparedness. FB-ISAO is working closely with valued national and local partners including the Department of Homeland Security, local InfraGard chapters, and fusion centers to develop a sound approach to help participants understand and prepare for hostile events. The workshop schedule which continues to be developed can be accessed here.

Our team will plan and facilitate these workshops, which we hope will include members and other interested leaders in the regions. We also expect the involvement of our federal and state and local government partners, to help inform the conversation and raise awareness on both the threats facing our community and the actions leaders can take to better prevent, protect against, mitigate, respond to, and recover from threats and hazards relating to hostile events – such as active shooters, acts of violence, and low-tech terrorism – that pose the greatest risk to our community.

This year, workshops are confirmed in Virginia, Florida and Wisconsin and we’re working with other partners and locations around the country to schedule more 2020 exercises. We hope members and others in these areas will join us at these events, and we look forward to future events across the country! Stay tuned for more details as planning continues. Our monthly newsletter, available to all members from our no-cost basic level and up, is a great way to stay aware of upcoming events and other general information.

We look forward to continuing the planning and coordination of these workshops, and we hope to see you at one of them soon!