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- A new Florida law (formerly S.B. 124) requires that the state's chief of domestic security initiatives work with state agencies, universities, and community colleges to conduct security assessments for all of the buildings, facilities, and structures operated by these groups. With the assistance of employees within these groups, the chief will compile the assessments and present them to the governor and to lawmakers. The governor and lawmakers must also be informed if any state agency, university, or community college fails to cooperate with the assessment process. The law allows the chief to conduct follow-up assessments to ensure that the security assessments remain current.@ Under the law, the chief is also mandated to work with local governments and private industry to develop security assessments. The assessments are mandatory for state-funded agencies and organizations; however, private industry and local municipalities have the option of conducting assessments with the chief's help. The costs must be borne by the local government or the private company involved.

The Challenge of Making Safer Structures

- Three and a half years after 9-11, building codes are just starting to reflect lessons learned from the World Trade Center collapse

EPA Response

- The Government Accountability Office report questions the Environmental Protection Agency’s ability to respond to indoor contamination in future disasters.

Disaster and Recovery Planning: A Guide for Facility Managers.

- Specific disasters including fires, bomb threats, and earthquakes receive individual attention. Probably to illustrate the extent and magnitude of disasters, Gustin includes lists of disaster and emergency declarations made in 2002 and 2003 that run for pages, from flooding in Arkansas to typhoons in the Federated States of Micronesia. The author’s good intentions aside, the lists don’t merit that much space.

Breath of Fresh Air for Building Security

- Protecting the HVAC system from biological, chemical, and radiological weapons can be difficult. A paper by Michael MacDonald of Oak Ridge National Laboratory offers some guidance.The document helps security managers understand the various threats, pointing them to online sources for more detailed information. Also provided is an outline for performing vulnerability and threat assessments. In addition, the author explains how to reduce exposure to harmful agents and introduces readers to mitigation technologies and actions. The paper notes that no real-time biological sensor currently exists. Limited-efficacy chemical detectors and radiological sensors are available, but they are high in price.Also included is a fictitious case study that walks building managers through the process of securing a building’s HVAC system. Although targeted to managers in federal facilities, the guide is equally applicable to the private sector. Find the document online.

Digital Maps Draw Better Response

- Mall security adopts software to view floor plans for safety purposes.

Did You Know That?

- Shouting “fire” in a crowded theater is a no-no, but what’s worse is not having adequate fire protection in that same crowded theater. The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) has found that Washington D.C.’s Kennedy Center does not appear to comply with some fire-safety requirements. Auditors found, for instance, that there was no program for managing the storage of scenery, props, and other combustible materials. GAO testimony on the topic is at SM Online.

Freedom Tower Security to be Overhauled

- Incorporating more security into New York's Freedom Tower.

Intelligent Design

- Security directors should take the lead in advocating for the development of standards for campus building projects.

Preparing Places of Refuge

- Problems with the Louisiana Superdome raise questions about how evacuation sites are chosen.

Founding Fathers

- GAO gives high marks to federal agencies with facilities on the National Mall.

The New Hall Monitor

- Buncombe County (North Carolina) Schools have installed survelliance that has helped it cut incidents of crime.

How Safe Are Our Labs?

- Before they receive government authorization, labs handling dangerous biological specimens must show they have incident response plans.

Beyond Print

SM Online

See all the latest links and resources that supplement the current issue of Security Management magazine.