Food Insecurity and Violence
Rising food prices contribute to food insecurity, which is a clear and serious threat to human security. Interest in food security as a catalyst for political instability and conflict has grown rapidly in the last 6-months and now the war between Russia and Ukraine has amplified the issue.
In case you missed it, President Joe Biden recently announced that the United States is about to face a global food shortage. As an American alive today, chances are you have never faced a global food crisis and now it is very likely that you will. Food insecurity affects many communities across our country every day, a global food shortage is vastly different and will likely affect us all.
The Mental Health Pile On
So what does a global food shortage mean as it relates to violence? Civil conflict, protest, rioting, and social conflict are all more prevalent during periods of slow or negative economic growth. What we are facing is a GROUP of factors, the least of which is negative economic growth.
Our supply chains, already disrupted for the later part of 2021, have now become more vulnerable as certain exports are now in jeopardy. Shortages in fertilizers make the cost to grow food more expensive and also amount to lower crop yields when fertilizers are harder to come by. Wheat and other supply disruptions will affect a wide array of food items, both in cost and availability. In addition to shortages, food prices are set to soar in the coming months.
Rising food inflation and shortages are likely to lead to worsening riots, protests, and acts of violence. Lower crop yields increase the competition for remaining crops, which lowers food availability and raises costs. Rising prices mean that many people cannot afford to buy food. The only alternative in many cases is to obtain food through stealing and looting.
Couple this will soaring gas prices, rising energy costs, and extreme political divides....and you can easily see the powder-keg we are sitting on. After two years of the Covid pandemic, tensions and mental health issues in America are ALREADY at all-time highs, and now many Americans will face these greater global challenges. After all, not much else matters to a person when food supply is an issue. Desperate times are likely to result in desperate measures.
How This Relates to Organizational Safety
When people begin to suffer, communities begin to suffer. As our collective tensions rise, so does the propensity for violence. We already face an active shooter epidemic in America, additional stress-related circumstances only assure this will continue to worsen.
Now more than ever, leaders must be forward-thinking with their critical incident response planning. The U.S. Occupational Health and Safety Administration’s general duty clause states employers must have a place free of recognized hazards, and active shooting incidents are considered such a hazard. This is already well-established. In situations where the place or character of an owner’s business (organization), or its past experience, is such that it “should reasonably anticipate . . . criminal conduct on the part of third persons, either generally or at some particular time,” may an owner be under a duty to take precautions against it. Most states do not impose a special duty on an employer to protect an employee against criminal actions on the employer’s premises unless the act is foreseeable. One could easily argue that the many obvious and well-reported nationwide tensions we are facing more readily make acts of violence more foreseeable. Are violent incidents up in your community? Has your organization received threats? Have there been any altercations at your school or place of business? Is your organization vulnerable to risk?
How ASR Can Help
ASR Alert Systems operates within a comprehensive approach to safety. We advance our client projects from a tactical perspective whereby we can analyze vulnerabilities, training needs, and technology needs, all three of which we can help with.
Risk and Vulnerability Assessments
Preparation begins with understanding the unique vulnerabilities that are present in your particular organization. Whether it's a school, a corporate environment, an industrial space, or a house of worship, the reality is that workplace violence is one of the most common forms of violence that an individual may experience. Conducting a vulnerability assessment allows you to identify security threats and implement mitigation strategies, security technologies, and policies. The objective of the ASR Risk and Vulnerability Assessment is to work collaboratively with your organization to develop a practical and integrated Security Assessment that provides a strategy and clear plan of key actions to improve your facility's security potential. We deliver a comprehensive physical security presence that is integrated to provide optimal protection. Learn more about our Risk and Vulnerability Assessments here.
Active Shooter/Assailant Training
In the event that violence should occur, every employee should be trained, prepared, and informed on the most effective actions they can take to protect their own safety and the safety of those around them. The goal is to address personnel safety and the training/readiness of your organization's personnel for dealing with emergencies. ASR’s ultimate objective is to work as your trusted security advisor in developing security programs and training that are reasonable to the property's security needs to mitigate risks. Furthermore, we aim to recommend cost-effective training programs that will produce a return on investment. Additionally, the active shooter/assailant training program will integrate people, procedures, and resources to help you prepare for and respond to an active shooter/assailant incident. Learn more about our Active Shooter/Assailant Training here.
ASR Threat Alert System
The ASR Threat Alert System is a patented state-of-the-art critical incident response technology specializing in the field of alert notifications to Law Enforcement and First Responders in the event of an active shooter or other crisis. Our critical incident response technology uses hard-mounted buttons, mobile pendants, and an optional mobile phone application to DIRECTLY communicate with first responders in the area to significantly decrease response times to an active threat or crisis situation. We hold the patent on this direct communication. Our technology can be customized to any industry, building, or event. We deliver customer-specific technology unmatched by anyone. Learn more about the ASR Threat Alert System here.
Individually there isn't much we can do about the state of the nation. What we can do is prepare to best protect those closest to us, including those we have a duty of care to protect in our schools and businesses. In doing so, safety leaders can implement processes, training and technology to help ensure the best possible outcomes should tragedy strike. ASR can help.