Protecting Yourself Against Vehicles Used as Weapons
Throughout the last year, there have been several instances where terrorist have attempted to inflict injuries by using a vehicle as a weapon, ramming them into structures or crowds of people. In our last issue, we focused on what private citizens could do to protect themselves while walking.
In this issue, we will discuss methods businesses and public gathering venues can utilize to provide protection from these types of threats.
Protect Potential Impact Areas
Start by identifying unobstructed paths a vehicle could travel and strike critical areas. These could include people, buildings or key equipment. Remember, the cause does not necessarily have to be an intentional act. It could be the result of a distressed driver experiencing a medical emergency.
The following are potential methods of limiting the effects of either of these scenarios. Keep in mind that multiple methods can be used to provide layers of protection, thereby increasing their effectiveness.
Design approach paths to these areas so they do not run in a straight line for extended distances. Straight approaches allow vehicles to gain speed and potentially inflict more damage. These areas should be configured so vehicles traveling on them are required to follow a serpentine (winding curve) path. This can be accomplished by constructing the route in a curved configuration or by installing physical barriers requiring vehicles to steer back and forth in order to navigate around them.
Install physical barriers to protect strike-points, stopping the vehicle before it can reach the target. Physical barriers may take numerous forms.
These are posts anchored into the pavement or ground that protrude to a height of generally around three to four feet. They come in different sizes and ratings, depending on the level of impact they can sustain. Bollard designs range from simple concrete/metal poles to those that appear very ornamental. Some also can be purchased with lighting packages so they double as accent lighting.
Large-diameter trees can be positioned in configurations to prevent vehicles from reaching areas requiring protection.
Elevated planters can be constructed so they are capable of stopping vehicles, while at the same time, being aesthetically pleasing. They can be incorporated into the basic landscaping design so no one realizes their intended purpose. These barriers should be properly engineered by qualified professionals to achieve the desired protection.
Natural or manmade features of the grounds surface can be used to obstruct or hinder a vehicle’s path. These could include gullies, embankments or berms. Care must be taken when designing berms so that vehicles are not capable of being launched through the air and into the target by using their path.
Natural or man made water features can inhibit the ability for a vehicle to impact a target when strategically placed.
Vertex provides physical security assessments for organizations to identify vulnerabilities and potential solutions.
Need to train your employees how to survive an active shooter situation? Contact Vertex Tactical today to learn how you can provide this training and help keep your personnel alive in the midst of tragedy.