Emergency Planning Resources

The East Side Area Business Association (ESABA) in partnership with Munisupport Inc. has put together this website to assist our community in preparing for civil unrest events. Our main goals are protecting life and discouraging, mitigating, or preventing damage to our businesses and community. Feel free to reach out to ESABA to help with questions about these resources: 651-335-0986

This webpage will provide the following:

  • Tools to implement appropriate precautions when threats of civil unrest are identified. These tools will assist to deter, delay, slow, or discourage rioters and intruders from attempting to gain unlawful entry to your premises or cause exterior damage to your property.
  • Tools to safeguard your customers, staff, and property during times of civil unrest events.
  • A centralized location to access contractual services for emergency and recovery-related services.
  • Tools for businesses to rapidly return to pre-crisis operations.

St. Paul Police Department Information & Resources

Information on current events during a time of crisis is vital to implement appropriate precautions when threats of civil unrest are identified. The St. Paul Police Department is a great source of verifiable information to use before, during, and after events of civil unrest. The live twitter feed below is the recommended source from SPPD for timely credible threats. The crime prevention unit is offering assessments to help businesses onsite. See that contact information below and Start with the SPPD’s checklist for Protecting Your Business During Civil Unrest. See below for resources in the drop down menus to help you enhance your plan.

Emergency Preparedness Flyer (Download PDF)

Protecting Your Business During Civil Unrest • SPPD Checklist (PDF)


St. Paul Police Patrol District Contact Information

Learn More


St. Paul Police Business Safety and Security Workshop

Learn More


St. Paul Police Crime Prevention Unit

Learn More


Letter From Chief of Police to Chamber of Commerce

View Letter


St. Paul Police Commercial Burglary Prevention

Learn More


StarTribune Feb 24, 2021 Story - St. Paul police outline plan for possible unrest during Chauvin trial

View Story


Emergency Planning Service Provided By:

muni


ESABA Emergency Planning Resources

EMERGENCY PLANNING MENU

Please click on the down arrow on the box to expand the tab.

Emergency Planning Menu

TOOLS TO STAY INFORMED

Safety and crime prevention is a community effort, and the police cannot do it alone. Businesses and employees should stay informed with what is happen in area that might affect the business. Below are some suggestions for reliable sources of news. Be cautious of reacting to unverifiable social media postings from non-official sources.

COMMUNICATIONS PLANNING

Keep an updated list of emergency contact numbers. In addition to emergency personnel (fire, hospital, ambulance, police) and local government agencies, keep insurance company contacts, employee contacts, utility providers information available. You should also keep an extra copy off site and digitally to be able to access from your smart phone.

Text Message Group Text

  • A good emergency communication tool with your staff is a group text message all staff included in the group. This should be implemented as part of your emergency planning.

Sample Information Sheet Link:

ORGANIZATION CHAIN OF COMMAND

To avoid confusion, a chain of command should be established detailing who has the authority to make decisions during an emergency situation.

BUSINESS EMERGENCY PLAN

An emergency plan is a written set of instructions that outlines what employees and others at the workplace should do in an emergency.

Besides the major benefit of Emergency Plans providing guidance during an emergency, developing the plan has other advantages. You may discover unrecognized hazardous conditions that would aggravate an emergency situation and you can work to eliminate them. The planning process may bring to light deficiencies, such as the lack of resources (equipment, trained personnel, supplies), or items that can be corrected before an emergency occurs. In addition, an emergency plan promotes safety awareness and shows the organization's commitment to the safety of workers. All businesses should consider drafting some sort of emergency plan. There are a few resources to help you in the development of your emergency plan.

Additional information:

Ready.gov Emergency Response Plan:

Planning and Responding to Workplace Emergencies OSHA Fact Sheet:

Sample Business Emergency Plan (Texas Occupational Safety and Health Consultation Program)

MAKING AN INSURANCE CLAIM

Best Practices When Making an Insurance Claim

If riots, vandalism or civil unrest take place within your community and result in losses for your business or property, consider these best practices when making a claim:

  • Report it immediately—Be sure to report the incident right away to the local authorities and consult your broker for immediate claims assistance.
  • Prevent additional losses—When the loss occurs, try to do everything you can to mitigate the risk of further damages (e.g., boarding up your property’s windows and doors). However, only take these precautions if it is safe to do so. Avoid any mitigation measures that could put you or your employees at risk of injury or fatality.
  • Beware of waiting periods—Make sure you consider any waiting periods or other deductibles that might apply when making a claim. For example, most business interruption policies are subject to a 72-hour waiting period—meaning that you won’t be covered for any loss of income that occurs for the first three days following the incident.
  • Document all expenses and damages—To ensure the best possible compensation for your loss, be sure to document the full extent of the damages that your business or property incurred by taking plenty of pictures as evidence. Further, make sure you keep track of all expenses related to the loss by saving receipts and bank statements.

REVIEWING YOUR INSURANCE COVERAGE

Insurance Policy Review

Insurance needs for businesses are continually changing as a result of business operational changes and changes in the social and political landscape . Even though chan

ges are expected for a business, they can often happen suddenly and without notice as the civil unrest events of 2020 demonstrated.

These changes we face can create new situations that may not be covered under the current insurance policy. These coverage gaps can create problems that are potentially costly for a business if they are caught without adequate coverage. An annual review of the business insurance policy will help identify gaps that were created by recent changes or events.

  • Most Business Owner Policies (BOP) contain provisions that cover civil unrest and rioting but to a varying degree.
  • Business owners must opt-in on certain coverages under many policies – i.e., plate glass window coverage.
  • Owners need to assess whether or not Business Income Coverage is available and worth the investments based upon the risk of prolonged shutdowns.
  • Tenants and landlords need to communicate as to overlapping coverages and determine which carrier has liability for specific events.
  • Tenants and landlords need to review their leases and determine who has the duty to mitigate damages in the event of rioting and property damage.
  • Leases should address the duty to take preventative measures if any.
  • Tenants and landlords should be aware of any affirmative requirements to board-up or secure the premises before, during, and after civil unrest events.

ASSESS PROPERTY FOR VULNERABILITIES

Assess your property for vulnerabilities - Know your risks and prepare.

We recommend inspections of your property for perimeter security weaknesses or gaps in security. Do not disregard adjacent businesses, parking areas, alleys, and street frontage in analyzing the security and vulnerability of your property. With uncertainty in mind, business owners should be prepared to implement appropriate precautions to deter, delay, slow, or discourage rioters and intruders from attempting to gain unlawful entry to their premises or cause exterior damage to their property.

Burglar Proofing Doors

Doors are another important factor in preventing break-ins. Having a sturdy, protective door will prevent many burglars from causing any harm to your business. Generally speaking, solid-core wood or reinforced steel will do the trick. In addition to this, installing deadbolt locks with heavy-duty strike plates (the attachment to the door in which the lock itself goes into) will increase the security of any entrances very well. Of course, also be sure that the door hinges are located on the inside of the building so that they cannot be removed from the outside by potential intruders.

Security Camera System

For a perfectly reasonable investment, business owners can install surveillance on the inside and outside of their building. Security cameras provide businesses with video surveillance and capture images or recordings of what goes on when you are not there. Just the mere presence of surveillance cameras could discourage potential criminals and protect your business during both operating and non-operating hours.

If possible, video footage should be stored off-site in the cloud. If this is not possible, ensure the security camera DVR is in a discreet secure location of the building. If possible, it should be on a battery backup device. Cameras should be placed in strategic locations in order to identify people and spaces. Exterior cameras should be able to read license plates. 

For a modest investment, you can cover the perimeter of your business with video surveillance, and also digitally record substantial amounts of video. What you capture could help in catching an offender.

Illuminate property with lighting

Vandals prefer to work under the cover of darkness, making bright lights an effective deterrent. Lighting makes the property less desirable for vandals and others with criminal intent. Lighting also improves the ability of cameras to detect and identify vandals or looters during civil unrest events. Permanent lighting should be regularly inspected and maintained to assure that the property is well illuminated at night. Monitor growth of shrubbery and trees to ensure that lighting is not diminished by overgrown foliage.

If permanent improved lighting is not an option, consider renting portable generator floodlights to illuminate the building when needed.

Protect roof access ladders or ladder cages

Unprotected roof access ladders or roof access hatches would enable demonstrators or vandals entry to rooftop areas and equipment. Access to the roof may allow intruders to breach the roof, gaining entry to interior areas and making possible damage, theft, or destruction of rooftop equipment. Locked security gates should be provided for all roof access ladders to prevent unauthorized access. Lock shackles should be made of hardened steel and at least 9/32- inch thick. A shielded or hidden-shackle padlock is more resistant to bolt cutters and pry bars. Additionally, make sure building-adjacent trees are properly trimmed to prevent use by rioters/looters to gain access to your roof. Move dumpsters, storage pods or other large equipment that can be climbed to access roof or upper floors, away from the building.

Remove or conceal items that could be used as tools for illegal entry or projectiles to cause damage or personal harm.

Inspect areas around the store for loose and easily accessible items that could be used as a tool to gain illegal entry or as a weapon during the riot, including, but not limited to: benches, bicycle racks, landscaping stone, construction materials, idle store fixtures, and many others. Consider how any of these objects could be misused by rioters to cause property damage or injury to others. Remove or conceal and secure these objects to prevent rioters/looters from gaining possession of potential weapons or tools for destruction.

Secure or conceal trash receptacles that could be set on fire

Move trash containers as far away from the building as possible to reduce the possibility of arson. Secure containers in place (if possible) to prevent them from being moved to start or fuel an active fire.

Confirm that any exterior/publicly accessible sprinkler and water supply equipment is operable, tamper-proof.

Emergency Knox Box Access

Many businesses are equipped with devices called Knox Boxes. These boxes provide first responders with immediate access into secure buildings, campuses, residences and commercial properties during emergencies. Removing barriers to entry reduces injuries to responders and minimizes property damage in an event of an emergency.

Please ensure if your business does have a Knox Box, the keys inside are the correct keys. Contact your local fire station if you need to verify the correct keys are in the Knox Box. More information on this product: https://www.knoxbox.com/.

Identification/labeling of front and rear exterior doors

The St. Paul Municipal Code requires all structures in the City to be properly labeled with the street address on the front and the back doors. This helps public safety departments find your property during emergency calls for service in a timely matter.

The requirements are specific. Please click on the link below for the specification. For more information or questions, please contact City of St. Paul Department of Safety and Inspections at 651-266-8989 or their website at https://www.stpaul.gov/departments/safety-inspections.

The City of St. Paul Municipal Code Section 71.01 - House numbers required

The City of St. Paul Municipal Code Section 71.02 - Specifications

Cover all windows and doors with exterior grade plywood (IF NEEDED)

If there is credible threat or as a precautionary measure, exterior grade (CDX) plywood (5/8-inch or thicker) can be used to protect store doors and windows from damage and intruders. Determine the best method of attaching the plywood panels to the structure. Anchors and bolts or screws or tracks and headers provide more secure protection than plywood nailed to the window frame. Burglar-resistant materials (meeting UL 972 standards) can be used for windows and doors. These materials look like standard glass but will not shatter easily, even after repeated blows. Attachment of security film to the inside and frame of unprotected glass will also make the window more resistant to impact.

Separate roadway/parking lot from storefront areas with temporary fencing or barriers (IF NEEDED)

If there is credible threat or as a precautionary measure, fencing or barriers may be an effective deterrent for vandals and intruders. Temporary construction fencing (interconnected panels – 6-foot or higher) can help provide a buffer to protect vulnerable entrance and storefront areas from a disorderly crowd.

Water- or sand-filled barrels or barricades may also be used for temporary barrier protection of storefront areas from ramming by vehicles. This type of barrier may do little to deter rioters from breaching the barrier line but can be effective to prevent the use of a vehicle as a weapon to harm persons or property.

*You must ensure life safety principles are used in the use of fencing and barricades to ensure adequate egress and the ability for public safety personnel and equipment to access the property in cases of an emergency. Consultation with local government jurisdiction on your plans prior to installation/placement is advisable to ensure you are following all codes and other governmental regulations.

Plan to relocate or conceal company or privately-owned vehicles

Move all company vehicles inside a secure perimeter or to a safe place away from the premises.

St. Paul Police Department Virtual Burglary Prevention Workshops

The St Paul Police Department offers resources to businesses. One of these resources is the Burglary Prevention Workshops which will assist you in making your property assessment. For more information contact Eastern District – Senior Commander Kurt Hallstrom Kurt.Hallstrom@ci.stpaul.mn.us or 651-266-5929


 

SECURITY CAMERA SYSTEMS

Security Camera System

For a perfectly reasonable investment, business owners can install surveillance on the inside and outside of their building. Security cameras provide businesses with video surveillance and capture images or recordings of what goes on when you are not there. Just the mere presence of surveillance cameras could discourage potential criminals and protect your business during both operating and non-operating hours.

If possible, video footage should be stored off site in the cloud. If this is not possible, ensure the security camera DVR is in a discreet secure location of the building and if possible, on a battery backup device. Cameras should be placed in strategic locations in order to identify people and spaces. Exterior cameras should be able to read license plates. 

For a modest investment, you can cover the perimeter of your business with video surveillance, and also digitally record substantial amounts of video. What you capture could help in catching an offender.

FILING A POLICE REPORT

Filing of a Police Report

If your business has been broken into or damaged, it can be an overwhelming feeling. Before you do anything, it’s important not to enter the property. For your own safety and in order not to disturb the crime scene, stay outside or in your vehicle.

During times of wide-spread civil unrest and emergencies, police response may be delayed for hours or days. Report the incident to the police and ask for instruction on how to handle the current situation if response will be delayed.

If there will be a delay in the police response, you can gather important information to have at the ready before police arrive which will help expedite the report and investigation process.

List the items that have been stolen or damaged

Go through the business, room by room, and make a list of all the things that are missing. Include serial numbers and an approximation of their value. Don’t forget to check for missing keys and company vehicles.

Talk to your neighbors

Let your neighbors know what happened. Ask if they saw anyone around your business at the time of the crime. You should also ask if they are aware of any similar incidents or have seen any suspicious activity recently. Make note of any helpful information that they give you. Be sure to turn this over to police investigating the burglary along with your neighbor’s contact information.

Check for surveillance footage

If you or your neighbors have security cameras around the business and the area, gather the video footage from that day. Share any video that you are able to collect with the investigating police. Surveillance video that captures some part of the crime may also be helpful for your insurance claim. Make sure you preserve the recording.

Gather video and pictures

Take pictures and make a video as you walk through the burglarized house. These can be used to document the crime scene. Videos and pictures also function as evidence of property damage and missing valuables.

Secure the property

There are usually broken windows, damaged doors or forced locks. It’s important to secure the property. Professional repair companies usually provide emergency services and can help you clean up and secure windows, doors, and other access points at least temporarily.

Once you have filed a police report, request a copy of it. The police report will be helpful when making an insurance claim.

MAKING AN INSURANCE CLAIM

Best Practices When Making an Insurance Claim

If riots, vandalism or civil unrest take place within your community and result in losses for your business or property, consider these best practices when making a claim:

  • Report it immediately—Be sure to report the incident right away to the local authorities and consult your broker for immediate claims assistance.
  • Prevent additional losses—When the loss occurs, try to do everything you can to mitigate the risk of further damages (e.g., boarding up your property’s windows and doors). However, only take these precautions if it is safe to do so. Avoid any mitigation measures that could put you or your employees at risk of injury or fatality.
  • Beware of waiting periods—Make sure you consider any waiting periods or other deductibles that might apply when making a claim. For example, most business interruption policies are subject to a 72-hour waiting period—meaning that you won’t be covered for any loss of income that occurs for the first three days following the incident.
  • Document all expenses and damages—To ensure the best possible compensation for your loss, be sure to document the full extent of the damages that your business or property incurred by taking plenty of pictures as evidence. Furthermore, make sure you keep track of all expenses related to the loss by saving receipts and bank statements.

DISCLAIMER

Use of Material

All information provided herein is for informational purposes only and based upon certain assumptions and parameters which may or may not be suitable for any or all situations. It is your responsibility to review your company policies and procedures to ensure that such policies include provisions comprehensive enough to address any given scenario related to civil unrest, rioting, looting, or other mass disturbance event, as the suggestions herein do not cover all possible contingencies. Use of this material is at your discretion. The East Side Area Business Association and Munisupport, Inc. make no representation or warranty that the information herein will be effective in preparing for events of civil unrest. The ultimate responsibility to be prepared rests with you and your company. Revisions to your policies and procedures should be done through the advice and consent of your legal counsel and risk management experts. The East Side Area Business Association and Munisupport, shall not be liable for any damages, claims, injuries, liabilities or costs associated with your use or implementation of the policies contained herein and same shall be done at your own risk.

Following Your Company Policies (If Applicable)

Management should become familiar with company policies on operational standards in emergency planning and response. It is recommended that all actions taken should fall within your company policies, and prior approval from your parent company should be obtained before taking any action to modify or otherwise change your current policies.