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on low visibility areas. Some examples are the use of motion sensor lighting that detects motion and lights up when a trespasser is seen. More complexes are installing LED lighting which offers better lighting in parking lots. CPTED studies landscaping controlling the height and width of trees and shrubs. Trees that hover to the rooftop can be accessible or shrubs that block windows can be problematic for concealment. Access points into the complex should be limited and defined. Is it clear where pedestrians and motor vehicle traffic enter or exit? Where are your boundaries and is your complex properly posted for trespassing violations? “At Commonwealth Safe Schools, we evaluate both target hardening and CPTED designs of your complex and make recommendations for safety improvements. A written report is produced with photos for both strengths and considerations. Some of the considerations require little costs involved. But then again having a safe and secure building should be priceless,” reiterated Officer Lee.

Since communication is the glue that holds these contingency plans together, it would behoove you to create a homeowner/resident checklist to hand out. Here is a checklist that can be shared with homeowners, posted in common areas, and reviewed and communicated at any safety meetings.

Protocol for homeowners/residents

Stay Home. If you haven’t been instructed to evacuate, stay put. You and your family are safer indoors. That means being prepared with food, water, and medical supplies, as well as the needs of your pets. Most Emergency Preparedness Experts agree that in bad civil unrest, shelter-in-place for a month should be planned for. Stay

36 January | February 2021

away from doors and windows. Secure your personal belongings and important papers.

Stay Informed. Follow your LOCAL police and fire news. Sign up for LOCAL emergency alerts. Following national news can be daunting, scary, and take an emotional and mental toll on you.

Have an evacuation plan. Know where you will go, and how you will get there safely. As I preach in all disaster preparedness seminars, have your emergency grab bag ready to go with a minimum of 3 days supply of food, water, and medicine (and again your pets needs too). Also, designate a safe meeting place should unrest peak while your family is apart. Perhaps your local police or fire department parking lots, or a relative in a neighboring town.

Do NOT engage in verbal confrontations, and do not physically engage protestors. If you are personally confronted, remain calm and try not to raise your voice or escalate the situation.

Report suspicious behavior to your local police immediately.

Do NOT PANIC. I know this is easier said than done, but remaining calm will help you make sound decisions in a tense situation.

As I often write about, PREPAREDNESS is the key to saving lives, reducing property damage, and reducing injuries. Preparedness is the key in all disaster and emergency plans, including civil unrest. Be prepared. Be safe. Be hopeful for a better 2021.

Bob Lee is a sworn police officer in

Bucks County, Pennsylvania. He is currently assigned as a school resource officer in four public schools. He completed course work in National School Shield through the NRA. Currently, he is on the registry list as an approved safety assessor through Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency. He is the owner of Commonwealth Safe Schools LLC where he provides risk and security assessments. He can be reached at commonwealthsafeschools@gmail.c om or m.

Mike McGrory, Co-Owner of SERVPRO of Upper Bucks and Owner of FOCUS! Safety Training, Inc. and is a certified instructor for NRA Pistol, Shotgun and Rifle, NRA Range Safety Officer, ATA Certified Shooting Coach, USCCA Certified Instructor, Red Cross Adult\Pediatric\Infant First Aid\CPR\AED, ALICE Active Shooter, Pennsylvania Insurance Industry Continuing Education Instructor, OSHA 10 hour and 30 hour General Industry and Construction. He can be reached at or

ABOUT THE AUTHOR Robyn Colajezzi is Director of Marketing and Business Development at SERVPRO of Upper Bucks, Pennypack/ Bustleton, and Germantown and has 20+ years experience as a marketing professional in the Philadelphia and Mid- Atlantic region. Robyn holds a BA from Kutztown University. Robyn is a CAI Educated Business Partner and currently serves as Chairwoman for CAI’s Communications & Content Committee. She can be contacted via e-mail at:

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