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Politically-motivated violence is what we need to be proactive about and place mitigation synergies to stop any eventuality that might occur before, during and after elections. In this election security advisory, we deal with two Security Threats of Arson and Civil Unrest. What they are, mitigation and what to do in the event you are caught up in any.

ARSON

Arson: A property set on fire

Arson involves intentionally setting fire to a property e.g. a building or a vehicle with the intent to cause damage and it is common during election period.

Modus Operandi:
Most arsonists use petrol bomb, which is normally thrown through the window.

Vulnerable groups:
Motorists, residential and business premises especially shops.

How to prepare:
• Have an escape plan and practice it with your family.
• Know your local emergency numbers.
• Ensure your firefighting equipment have been serviced and are in good condition.
• Know all of your building’s fire escape exits.

If caught in the middle:
• In the case of fire: try not to panic.
• don’t hide, drop to hands and knees and crawl towards the nearest exit
• Stop, drop, and roll if your clothes catch fire.
• Hold your breath as much as possible.
• Breathe through your nose; and use a filter such as a shirt, towel or handkerchief.

Possible Outcome:
• Loss of property.
• Injury.
• Death.

Safety tips:
• Make sure there is a phone in the room to call for help.
• Close the door and seal the bottom with towels or blankets to stop harmful smoke entering.
• Do not enter a burning house to pick your personal items.
• Make an escape plan.
• Plan at least two ways out in case one way is blocked by fire.
• Have a meeting point in a safe place outside the house.
• Ensure your exits are clear every time.
• Keep the keys to doors and windows nearby.
• If you hear the fire alarm, test all the doors with the back of your hand for heat before you open them. If they are warm, the way might be blocked by fire.

CIVIL UNREST

Civil Unrest in town

Civil Unrest a likelihood in times of riots

In the occasion that we have riots and chaos reported Civil unrest could occur at any time without much (if any) advanced warning. Although there is no way to completely mitigate the risk of civil unrest, there are several things we can do to be as prepared as possible for an event like this.

Civil unrest involves disruption of the typical social order; it can involve a strike or protest, and it can be peaceful or violent. Both riots and rebellions are forms of civil unrest. It is common during political rallies all over the world and Kenya is not an exception.

Prediction of civil unrest:
• Clashes between supporters across political divides.
• Loud noises and shouting creating tension.
• Carrying of weapons to a campaign rally.

Vulnerable groups:
• Motorists, businesses especially shops, ladies and children under the age of 18.

How to avoid:
• Stay informed. Social media may provide new information as rapidly as possible but give credence to reliable sources).
• Always know what’s going on around you. Always.
• Avoid political rallies.

If caught in the middle:
• Your number one goal is to get out of there as quickly and as safely as possible.
• If shooting breaks out, drop to the ground and cover your head and neck, and lie as flat as you can.
• If pushed to the ground, try to get against a wall and roll yourself into a tight ball and cover your head with your hands until the crowd passes.
• At the first opportunity, break away and seek refuge.

Possible Outcome:
• Being hit by riot control chemicals or weapons (for example tear gas, water cannons, rubber bullets and stray bullets.
• Loss of property through looting.
• Arson.
• Vandalism.
• Injury.
• Death.

Safety tips
• Make sure that you don’t just rely on the internet for your information. If a civil unrest situation persists, you may lose internet and cell access.
• Have emergency cash on hand in small bills.
• Secure your home and business. Rioting often brings about looting, and looters can pillage and destroy your property.
• If looters strike, you are likely to be outnumbered, and your attackers may be armed. Don’t fight them, just evacuate your premises as your property is not worth your life.
• It is not safe to be outside during riots. Stray bullets and fires can ruin buildings, homes and lives.
• Do an inventory of the security features in your home to determine weaknesses that need to be strengthened.
• Set up a personal self-defense system. Invest in pepper sprays, clubs, sling shots, and other tools that will arm you against any rioters.
• Form a community of like-minded people that will band together for protection and safety during times of chaos.
• Develop a family emergency plan so that everyone knows what to do and where to meet in the event the worst happens.
• Carry a solution for rinsing your eyes in case you’re exposed to tear gas.
• If you are arrested or confronted by the police, just comply.
• Stay home.
• Look out before you step out.

Besides these security advisory, as Opticom Kenya Limited in partnership with Optiwatch Group we are here to offer you and your organization:

  1. Regular Election Preparedness and Crisis Management tips and updates
  2. Free Security Audits and Surveys
  3. Risk mitigation advice and plans
  4. Tailor made business continuity plans
  5. Innovative and technology backed security solutions such as Virtual Guarding, Remote Monitoring and Virtual Security Management as a Service.

Your security and safety comes first. Find out more by contacting us via info@opticom.co.ke or call  020 2686857 / 020 7909011

 

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