THE MAGAZINE

Bioterrorism: A Guide for Facility Managers

By Karim Vellani

*****Bioterrorism: A Guide for Facility Managers. By Joseph F. Gustin; published by The Fairmont Press, www.fairmontpress.com (Web); 269 pages; $98.

Drawing heavily from government documents, but not merely padding his book with them, Joseph Gustin has written a superb primer on protecting buildings from biological and chemical terrorism. Gustin pulls together, meshes, and interprets federal guidance documents, in the end creating a book well-suited for facility-security decision makers. While most security professionals are acquainted with CCTV, alarms, and perimeter protection, an oft-overlooked vulnerability is HVAC systems. They can be breached via air intakes, mechanical rooms, and other building systems.

Early chapters in the book introduce the vulnerabilities in HVAC and other building systems. One chapter provides a risk assessment methodology for use in identifying assets and threats to the building and its occupants, and for assessing a building’s vulnerabilities and overall risks. Other chapters discuss dirty bombs, chemical agents, and biological threats. Still later sections cover regulations in place for mitigating risk, managing a biological or chemical crisis, and deciding whether to evacuate or shelter in place.

Appendices contain useful vulnerability assessment screening tools and checklists along with a comprehensive Internet directory of references and information sources. Though the book aptly targets facility managers, it should be required reading for all security professionals who work to protect buildings and their occupants.

Reviewer: Karim Vellani ,CPP, CSC (Certified Security Consultant), is an independent security consultant and crime analyst with Threat Analysis Group, LLC, a security consulting firm specializing in crime analysis and risk management. He is the author of two books and a member of ASIS International.

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