How Can we Avert the Horrors of Christchurch!

What do we need to do, to help avert or minimize the impact of extremist attacks?

People lay flowers at a memorial for the mosque attack victims on Sunday in Christchurch, New Zealand.

My heart goes out the victims of the Christchurch massacre and in particular to their families and friends, I am personally saddened by this tragedy because I am feeling that we need to do more to protect all citizens from this type of extremism.

  • How do we protect innocent people in mosques, churches, synagogues, religious schools etc., or in any public place, against extremist attacks?

  • When a potential threat incident occurs, how do we notify potential threat victims?

  • How do we manage mass lockdowns and mass evacuations?

Having spent the last five years researching this issue, the following suggestions are what I believe are best practice.

  • Places at higher risk like mosques, churches, synagogues, religious schools, etc., need specialized emergency alert communication systems.
  • An emergency alert communication system needs to broadcast a siren alert tone followed by clear and concise voice instructions, appropriate to the type of threat.
  • The voice instructions may need to be multilingual, with languages consistent with dominant ethnic groups where appropriate
  • An emergency alert communication system needs to be automated with appropriate pre-recorded alert sirens and voice messages, so as not to be reliant on a person live broadcasting over a PA system during an emergency.
  • Distributed alert trigger points and remote push button wireless trigger units are needed to allow for speed and ease of system triggering.
  • An emergency alert communication system needs to have its own UPS battery backup in case of main failure or intentional disruption.
  • When an alert is triggered the emergency alert communication system needs to automatically send SMS Alert messages to emergency services, a security company, to neighboring schools, businesses and other high risk establishments within the local area.

I believe that an emergency alert communication system with all of these features is essential if we are serious about averting or at least minimizing the impact of extremist attacks.

Richard Wilson, Founder & CEO

AARC Systems Pty Ltd, Australia

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