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EPG Blog

Protect Your Farm and Ranch with this Security Checklist!

Away from it all, out in the open air… the green pastures… the blue sky above…

Who would ever think that you would need security? Just take a look at history and you’ll think again. What plan do you have in place to protect your farm or ranch against everyday crime? Or what about agroterrorism?

If you answered, “What plan?” to the previous two questions, we have a security checklist that will point you in the right direction to help start your security plan.

You can start the process to protect yourself against property and biosecurity crime – here’s how;

FARM SECURITY CHECKLIST

Property Security

▢ 1. Do you have insurance coverage that protects against theft, vandalism, pesticide spills and/or terrorist attacks on your farm?

  • Ask your insurance agent to walk your farm with you, assess your risks and review your coverage.

Notes:

 

▢ 2. Is your 911 emergency address posted and easily visible on your mailbox or a post on the county or parish road?

  • Identify your property for emergency personnel with three-inch reflective numbers on the mailbox, post or other location.

Notes:

 

▢ 3. Do you have a permanently installed, well-hidden mailbox or lock box that serves as an emergency information box for emergency personnel? Do they know where it’s located?

  • Items in the information box should include an up-to-date farm map, a list of emergency contact persons and their phone numbers, locations and amounts of hazardous chemicals safety data sheets, and a list of the major contents of each building.
  • Have the location of the information box entered into the computer database at your 911 dispatch center, and personally inform your local fire and police chiefs or sheriff.

Notes:

 

▢ 4. Do you have a farm map with the contents of each building listed?

  • The map should include the contents at each location and identify vulnerable items such as chemicals, fuel, vehicles and livestock that someone might want to contaminate, steal or damage.

Notes:

 

▢ 5. Are pesticides and farm chemicals stored in one location? Are they secure? Do you have an inventory?

  • All chemicals should be stored in a locked and weatherproof building and as recommended by the manufacturer’s label instructions.

Notes:

 

▢ 6. Have you approached your local fire department about visiting your farm for a safety and security check?

  • You should have working fire extinguishers in plain sight in numerous places. Employees should know where they are and how to use them.
  • You should have working fire alarms in place. Replace batteries every six months.
  • An on-site inspection by local fire department personnel will identify areas of concern for you to address. Show them the locations of water mains, electricity control boxes, fuel and chemical supplies, your emergency information box, and livestock holding areas.

Notes:

 

▢ 7. Have you asked a professional law enforcement officer to help identify security issues?

  • Remove wood piles, debris piles, brush and other potential hiding places near these buildings.

Notes:

 

▢ 8. Do you have appropriate areas locked or gated? Are the locks, fences and gates in good condition? Do you regularly check for tampering? Do you have control of keys?

  • Install and maintain gates and locks, and use them whenever possible.
  • Never leave keys in vehicles or equipment.
  • Tag and code keys. Keep them in a secure place.
  • Keep the number of key copies to a minimum; sign them out when needed.
  • Recover keys and change locks when employees are fired or leave.

Notes:

 

▢ 9. Do you have lighting in the right places?

  • Install adequate lighting to permit work and deter theft or other crimes.
  • Light critical areas such as fuel tanks, grain bins and chemical storage areas.
  • Place video cameras, motion detection lights or other electronic monitoring devices in strategic locations.
  • Use watchdogs in appropriate locations.

Notes:

 

▢ 10. Do you have a prioritized list of contact names and numbers in case you are away from the farm or incapacitated during an emergency? Do your family members and employees have the list?

  • Place an emergency contact list next to each phone. Include fire, police, ambulance, veterinarian and poison control numbers.
  • Pre-program the emergency numbers into cell phones.

Notes:

 

Biosecurity

▢ 11. Have you taken appropriate biosecurity measures to protect your animals? Do you have an inventory of your animals? Can you identify them?

  • All your animals should be identified. They should also be inventoried frequently.
  • Animals should be monitored frequently for signs of illness or harm.
  • Maintain complete and accurate animal health records.
  • House sick animals in an isolation area away from other animals. Feed and treat them after healthy animal chores are completed. Change and disinfect clothes and footwear after working with sick animals.
  • Implement and maintain effective nutrition, vaccination and parasite control programs.
  • Quarantine new animals for at least 30 days before introducing them to the herd.
  • Store feed well away from sources of contamination such as fuel and chemicals.
  • Protect feed from contamination by cat, bird and vermin feces.
  • Don’t feed mammalian-origin protein to ruminants.
  • Keep all feed records for at least five years.
  • Use separate equipment for feed and waste handling.
  • Locate watering areas away from roads and other areas easily accessible by passersby.
  • Necropsy and properly dispose of dead animals.
  • Control personnel and visitor entries.
  • Require visitors to sign in and provide their addresses. To control disease, restrict international visitors’ access to certain areas of the farm.
  • Provide coveralls, plastic boot covers or boots for visitors.
  • Use disinfectant on boots, tires and equipment.
  • If you borrow equipment, disinfect it before and after use.
  • Don’t share fences with neighbors.
  • Maintain your fences and barns.

Notes:

 

▢ 12. Have you taken appropriate biosecurity measures to protect your crops and stored grain?

  • Conduct routine checks on cropland to monitor for evidence of unusual disease or damage.
  • Control personnel and visitor entry.
  • Require visitors to sign in and provide their addresses. To control disease, restrict international visitors access to certain areas of the farm.
  • Provide coveralls, plastic boot covers or boots for visitors.
  • Use disinfectant on boots, tires and equipment.
  • If you borrow equipment, disinfect it before and after use.
  • Don’t share fences with neighbors.
  • Maintain your fences and barns.
  • Lock stored grain bins.

Notes:

 

Personnel and Other Security Issues

▢ 13. Do your family members and employees know what to look for and what to report to the authorities to ensure farm security?

  • Walk around buildings and along fence lines to look for signs of trespassing and unusual activity.
  • Be aware of unfamiliar vehicles.
  • Family members and employees should report suspicious people, vehicles or activities to you.
  • Report suspicious people, vehicles and activities to local law enforcement officials.

Notes:

 

▢ 14. Are your employees trained to handle pesticides and operate equipment?

  • Provide opportunities for your employees to take appropriate training and certification courses such as pesticide handler training and certification.

Notes:

 

▢ 15. What security measures do you take when hiring new employees?

  • Perform reference and background checks on potential employees.
  • Train new employees on security and biosecurity protocols and be available to answer questions they might have.

Notes:

 

▢ 16. Do you have a well-stocked first aid kit and does everyone know how to use it? Is your first aid/CPR certification up to date?

  • Place up-to-date first aid kits and water flush bottles in numerous places on your property. Everyone should know where the kits are.
  • Provide opportunities for employees to take first aid and CPR training. Be sure everyone knows who is certified.
  • Update supplies as they are used and check expiration dates on medicines and topical ointments.

Notes:

 

▢ 17. Do employees know or have access to common contact information?

  • List routine business contacts and information in a convenient location so others can find it if you or your manager is absent.
  • Maintain an up-to-date phone and address list of your employees.

Notes:

 

▢ 18. Are your farm records complete, up-to-date and secure? Are your computers properly maintained and secured? Do you have current computer virus updates? Do you back up data frequently and store it on a secure site away from the farm or on cloud-based storage?

  • Ensure your records are complete and accurate.
  • Maintain a schedule for updating your farm computers with current anti-virus software.

Notes:

 

▢ 19. Do your family members and employees know what to do in case of an emergency?

  • Conduct regular simulations of emergencies. Involve all family members and employees.
  • Following a simulation, discuss what was effective and what could be improved.

Notes:

 

If you’d like to learn more, contact us at EPG Security Group via phone – 612-205-6653 or send us a message at  http://www.epgsecuritygroup.com/contact-us/.

Happy Holiday and Stay Safe!  – From all of us at EPG Security Group!

 

 

Safety Travel Tips

With the holidays in full effect we thought this would be a great time to revisit some safety tips when flying to keep yourself and those around you safe.

While at the Airport
-Keep all of your belongings in reach at all times.
-Do not accept packages from strangers.
-Remember that security personnel are trained to take your safety serious so do not joke about topics such as terrorism, weapons, explosives or firearms.
-Check www.tsa.gov for the most up to date information.

Tips When Traveling Internationally
-Lost or stolen passports – Make sure to pack a photocopy of your passport in order to improve the replacement process. If you lose a passport make sure to call the local police and the consulate.
-In the event of social unrest make sure you contact your hotel, the consulate, and your airline to check on safety
-Avoid demonstrations and acts of civil unrest and when available look for shelter in police stations, hotels, restaurants, etc.
-Avoid carrying large quantities of cash and use traveler’s checks if available as they can be replaced.
-The safest way to carry your money and belongings is a non-visible money belt. Avoid wearing jewelry, wallets, or purses.
-When transferring money from your money belt to your pockets do so in a private area such as a bathroom or hotel room.
-In order to blend in with the crowd take the time to research local dress to avoid standing out.
-Before traveling make sure to leave copies of your credit cards, passport, travelers checks and airline tickets with friends or family.
-A reminder that your credit card number is on your airline ticket. Make sure you keep this separate location than your passport.

Holiday Safety Tips

1177581_39368842The holiday season is filled with happiness and celebration, but it can also be a time of danger. Unfortunately, there are criminals who use the holidays to target victims who may be distracted by the busy season. Don’t let your holidays be ruined by becoming the victim of a crime. Here are some tips to stay safe.

1. Get to know your neighbors
The holiday season is a great time to get to know your neighbors who live next door, across the street and over the back fence Neighbors watching out for neighbors help keep an eye out for suspicious activity and make communities safer.

2. Safe parking lot practices
Make sure to always lock your vehicle and hid your valuables in the trunk or locked compartment. Make sure to walk in well-lit areas and carry your keys in your hand.

3. Stay alert to your surroundings
Whenever in crowded places stay alert to your surroundings. Keep a look out for anyone that looks suspicious and make sure to never leave your belongings unattended.

4. Home safety
Make sure to lock up all windows and doors when leaving for any length of time. Set indoor and outdoor lights on timers. If a person knocks at your door and you don’t recognize them, don’t feel obligated to open your door. T

5. Inform a trustworthy family and friends when traveling
Inform someone who’s trustworthy where you will be and when you might be expected back to your residence. Ask a neighbor or other dependable persons to watch your house and retrieve your newspapers and mail if possible.

Safety In The Workplace

Unfortunately, businesses can sometimes experience some type of workplace violence, threat, or upset employee termination from time to time. You can help keep the workplace safe by implementing policies and procedures for dealing with said situations.

EPG can help with assisting in workplace violence, threats, and employee discharge. We can help mitigate risk and ensure a safe working environment by offering to consult or by providing additional security resources, such as surveillance or security personal.
Things to consider when dealing with high-risk employee:

• What is happening in his/her own life that has prompted this?

• Does he/she feel he has been wronged in some way?

• How does the offender cope with disappointment, loss or failure?

• How does the offender interact with coworkers?

• Does he/she feel he is being treated fairly by the company?

• Does he/she have problems with supervisors or management?

• Is he/she experiencing personal problems such as divorce, death in the family, health problems, or other personal losses or issues?

• Is he/she experiencing financial problems, high personal debt, or bankruptcy?

• Is there evidence of substance abuse or mental illness/depression?

• Has the he/she shown an interest in violence through movies, games, books, or magazines?

• Is he/she preoccupied with violent themes; interested in publicized violent events; or fascinated with and/or recently acquired weapons?

• Has the offender identified a specific target and communicated with others his/her thoughts or plans for violence?

• Is he/she obsessed with others or engaged in any stalking or surveillance activity?

• Has the offender spoken of homicide or suicide?

• Does he have a past criminal history or history of past violent beha

• Does the offender have a plan for what he/she would do?

Safety Tips For Halloween

Planning on heading out tonight? We have personal safety tips to keep safe this Halloween night.

1) Plan ahead! Watch or read up on local news and weather for where you’re going. Check the events website for important information before you go.

2) Be mindful! Plan a safe way of carrying your valuables (wallet,money, credit/debit cards, purse, cell phone). This goes for the car too, make sure you’re not leaving valuables in plain sight or the car unlocked.

3) Be aware of your surroundings! Pay attention to where the exits are. When you get somewhere new make sure you’re constantly familiarizing yourself with the area.

4) Plan a meeting point! If you’re going with a group, plan a meeting point in case you become separated. Plan times to check in on each other and follow up when someone doesn’t.

5) Is it going to be a long day? Write down important numbers, so when your phone dies, you can still get in contact with your group if separated.

6) Avoid crowds where overly intoxicated people gather. If someone’s had too much to drink don’t be afraid to notify a Security or Police Officer.

Keeping these precautions in mind will help ensure you will stay safe this Halloween season!

Security In Schools

school-securityRecently, national news networks are covering more school violence stories than ever before due to incidents of high-profile school gun violence and bullying.  In order to protect our children from harm, school security guards are becoming more and more of a necessity.  As children enter their teens, behavior problems seem to either subside or intensify and schools often become a dumping ground for undiagnosed and untreated students.  

So the question becomes, do we need security guards?  Here is a list of benefits for hiring security guards at schools:

Constant Monitoring

Having someone watching the school grounds can help prevent crimes because it means that someone is there to watch the initial stages of the crime before people get hurt or property damage is done.  

Internal Prevention

Security guards can help protect schools from attacks of physical, emotional or sexual abuse by working to prevent these acts internally.  

External Protection

Sometimes the school isn’t the safety issue.  Having security guards can protect against trespassing that could prevent strangers bringing weapons into the school, attempted kidnapping or stealing of expensive school property.  

Bully Prevention

Security guards can get involved when they see kids getting bullied at school.  They can help bring these instances to parents in order for family members to handle the situation at home.  

When it comes to protecting students and administrators in the schools, EPG Security Group’s security officers are at the top of their class.  Our commitment to creating the safest possible environment has earned us a reputation for excellence and long-term client relationships.

Superintendents, school boards, and school administrators use our school safety consulting services to:
-Prevent and manage school violence
-Reduce safety risks and liability
-Improve school-community relations on school safety issues

 If you have questions or would like to learn more, call us and schedule a FREE school security assessment today at 612.205.6653.  Security assessments (sometimes called security audits or evaluations) provide findings and recommendations individualized to your district/school, many at low-cost or no-cost to implement!

Protecting Your Big Day

Weddings can present a unique security opportunity. Although mostly a happy occasion, we’ve all heard the stories of some unruly relative, pesky wedding crasher or inebriated guest spoiling it for everyone especially the bride.  Security might be the last thing on your lists of to-dos when planning for your big day, but years of experience working special events have taught us that this, in fact, is an aspect of your big day you won’t want to be without.  

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Whether you are planning a large get-together or a small intimate wedding you will want to enjoy every minute of it.  All it takes is one unwelcomed guest or alcohol-fuelled brawl to ruin the day which so much effort was put into.  When our security guards are working on-site, they are capable of providing a variety of important services.   Why should you consider hiring security to protect your big day?

Requirement of the Venue

Many venues require security guards, particularly if alcohol is served at the reception.  People who work at wedding venues understand the need for security, and requiring it means that they are interested in helping you have a wedding without incident.

Keep Valuables Safe

We will help guard and watch over the gift table and money box as well as keep an eye on guests’ purses and personal items when they get up to dance and enjoy themselves.

Unwelcome Guests

There are people who crash weddings with the intent to steal or simply get free food and drinks.  We can help check guests in at your reception.

EPG Security Group works with some of the most well-known wedding venues in the upper Midwest. Our clients understand that their clients demand well groomed and customer service driven professionals. EPG delivers on their expectations by custom fitting each security officer to each individual event.

Protective Measures for Outdoor Gatherings

This August we had the pleasure to work with Hormel Foods, home of SPAM, during their 125th Anniversary Celebration! Nearly 15,000 people filled Austin, Minnesota to celebrate a great company and rock out to The Band Perry. We thought this would be a great time to talk about protective measures for outdoor gatherings.

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Outdoor gatherings are always a hit, but can offer some challenges when it comes to security measures.

1) At many of these events, there may be no protected perimeter.
2) Large outdoor public gatherings involve temporary structures, such as tents and booths.
3) Large outdoor public gatherings may not rely on a permanent allocation of dedicated security resources. Therefore, almost
all aspects of security must be planned and formulated for each individual gathering.
4) Any organization or group can be involved in arranging a large outdoor public gathering. For example, large corporations sponsor free concerts; political parties arrange rallies, etc…
5) Many outdoor gatherings require special permits and may place a strain on limited community resources. Each community’s laws,
ordinances, and permitting process are different.

At EPG we have experienced management, ample and competent supervision and the utilization of smart technologies that are critical to the success of events like this. Technology is leveraged to maintain the highest standards. A voice broadcast and text messaging service are utilized for rapid communication to an unlimited number of security personnel at one time and smart phones and GPS mapping are utilized for efficient communications with clients.

2016 RNC and EPG Security

At the end of July, EPG Security Group headed to Cleveland, Ohio to provide protective services for senior elected officials and special events surrounding the Republican National Convention. The RNC was a success and we are looking forward to working on the inauguration in 2017 in DC.

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With the police massacre in Dallas preceding the event, there was more security than originally planned with threats of increased protests around the country. Fortunately, the event went smoothly. We took a total of 7 agents including our owner Erik Bergling from July 15th-22nd.

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One of the highlights of the trip was getting to know the crew from CNN. We were able to give them a couple of our stocking caps and they sent us this quirky little GIF. To watch visit our Facebook page!

https://www.facebook.com/epgsecuregroup/

EPG

Political Event Security

EPG Security Group Political CampaignsWith elections currently taking place we thought this would be a good time to address political event security. Political events are different than other events due to higher threat levels mostly coming from opposing organizations. It is important that standards, procedures, and actions are taken to overcome challenges such as personal safety of the candidate and party leaders, obsessive fans, intrusive media, and competitive intelligence between parties.

EPG understands the complexities of this type of security and with our backgrounds in law enforcement and through our partner networks, we can support your requirements for special events and static/roving guard operations. We provide the consulting and protective services necessary to help ensure the candidate and party are safe and secure. We create your security plans, coordinate with security and law enforcement providers, and effectively manage all security requirements of your event.

Here at EPG we pride ourselves with backgrounds in government work and law enforcement. We have created relationships with members of local law enforcement and government agencies to expand the resources available for your protection. Contact us today for a consultation. 612-205-6653

Nightclub Security

night club

Coming out of the Orlando massacre where 49 people were killed and 53 were injured, nightclub security is a rising topic and many establishments are adding in additional security measures.

So what measures should they be taking?
-Implementing the use of wands and metal detectors is a great way to have a hard check past the point of entering the club. Having patrons walk through metal detectors is a quick way to alert security personnel of dangerous objects such as knives or weapons.
-Increasing communication with law enforcement is extremely important as to alert them of any suspicious or criminal behavior. Also, communicating large events or celebrity appearances can be helpful so that they can be aware and prepared for larger groups of people.
-Adding additional security. It is important that when providing securing for large venues you have a company with a high level of expertise, experience, and trust. EPG Security Group’s is comprised of former military personnel and experienced security professionals in order to provide these things.

If you have any questions or concerns about the safety of your establishment, EPG is always here to help. Feel free to reach out and talk with one of our experienced team members.

Phone: 612-205-6653

Contact Us

 

2016 Art-A-Whirl Art Crawl

Art-a-whirlEPG Security had the honor of participating in 21st Art-A-Whirl art crawl! The event is presented by the Northeast Minneapolis Arts Association (NEMAA) and takes place annually throughout Northeast Minneapolis. The event is free and opened to the public and a known Minneapolis kick off to summer staple. Tens of thousands of visitors came out to support the more than 500 artists who exhibited their work.

Art-A-Whirl-2016-4-300x200We were located at Bauhaus brewery where artists of all kinds came together with a wonderful line up of bands for one of the largest events in the country of this kind. EPG was honored to provide our services making sure everybody attending the event had a fun, safe and memorable time.

Travel Safety and Airport Security

plane-flying-traveling-300x224With last evening’s events, we thought it would be an important time to go over travel safety and airport security tips when traveling abroad. Here are some tips to help keep yourself and those around you safe.

While at the Airport
-Keep all of your belongings in reach at all times.
-Do not accept packages from strangers.
-Remember that security personnel are trained to take your safety serious so do not joke about topics such as terrorism, weapons, explosives or firearms.
-Check www.tsa.gov for the most up to date information.

Tips When Traveling Internationally
-Lost or stolen passports – Make sure to pack a photocopy of your passport in order to improve the replacement process. If you lose a passport make sure to call the local police and the consulate.
-In the event of social unrest make sure you contact your hotel, the consulate, and your airline to check on safety
-Avoid demonstrations and acts of civil unrest and when available look for shelter in police stations, hotels, restaurants, etc.
-Avoid carrying large quantities of cash and use traveler’s checks if available as they can be replaced.
-The safest way to carry your money and belongings is a non-visible money belt. Avoid wearing jewelry, wallets, or purses.
-When transferring money from your money belt to your pockets do so in a private area such as a bathroom or hotel room.
-In order to blend in with the crowd take the time to research local dress to avoid standing out.
-Before traveling make sure to leave copies of your credit cards, passport, travelers checks and airline tickets with friends or family.
-A reminder that your credit card number is on your airline ticket. Make sure you keep this separate location than your passport.

Exciting Announcement

We are excited and honored to announce we just partnered up with Majestic Oaks in Ham Lake and Cityworks Restaurant in Minneapolis!  Click on the links below to learn more about these amazing companies!
Majestic Oaks in Ham Lake; http://www.majesticoaksgolfclub.com/
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Logo-CityWorks

Political Campaign Security

112914epg008With elections coming up we feel this is a good time to discuss campaigns and the physical security assigned to provide protection of your offices, properties, and events.  Political campaigns differ from typical events due to existing number of potential threats from opposing organizations.  Political parties face a myriad of challenges from the personal safety of the candidate and party leaders, obsessive fans, intrusive media, and competitive intelligence between parties.  EPG Security Group provides the consulting and protective services necessary to help ensure the candidate and their party are safe and secure at their homes, their offices, and while traveling from event to event.  We have supported presidential candidates, governors, mayors, and prime ministers around the globe on their path of political leadership.

With our backgrounds in law enforcement and government work, we have created relationships with members of local law enforcement and government agencies. Through our partner networks and understanding of anti/pro political movements, political figures and the political ground as a whole, we can support your uniformed requirements for special events and static/roving guard operations.

We would love to talk with you about any questions or concerns you might have.  Please call us at 612-205-6653 or click on the link below and send us a message.

Contact Us

 

Commercial Security and Common Mistakes You Might Be Making

imagesBuilding security is the most important component for safety, not only of the facility, but for the people occupying the building.  Below are common mistakes you might be making.

ID Requirements

It is not only important that ID and badge requirements are set in place, but it is also imperative that they are enforced.  Not only does this control who has access to the building, but by enforcing the program you will reinstate the importance of security within the building community.

Making Sure All Entry Points Are Secured 

Most buildings have more than one entrance and although ideally the fewer entrances/exits you have the more secure the building, making sure all of the buildings access points are secure is extremely important.  Some people fail to secure all areas and this can result in a huge security risk.  Make sure all doors are fitted with devises to monitor the area.

Make Security a Priority of Aesthetic 

Cameras play an important part in detecting and deterring criminal behavior.  Although they might feel out of place and make areas of the building seem not as beautiful, it is important they they can be observed and that they are placed in high traffic areas.

Making The Best Use of Equipment

As we know, security systems are a financial investment, however if the security personal does not understand the technology of the security system in place you will not be getting the most out of the system.  Make sure all personnel using the system are trained in order to get the best use of the system in order to keep the building safe.

Making Sure Important Rooms Have Extra Security

Any rooms, such as computer rooms, rooms that hold critical documents and files , will need extra security.  Some of the best ways of securing them include installing biometrics access systems together with security video systems for the deterrent of theft.

Too Much Security

Many systems are expensive and if you have too many of them you could be wasting money.  Make sure to consult with a professional when choosing and installing systems to make sure you are not purchasing more than you actually need.

 

Red Bull Crashed Ice 2016 St. Paul

download (1) download (2) download imagesEPG Security is happy to announce that we have been asked to again participate in this years Red Bull Crashed Ice World Championships located in St.  Paul.

Saint Paul, Minnesota has been a fixture on the calendar of the fastest sports on skates for the past five seasons, but in 2016 it will host the thrilling season finale for the first time.

The Minnesota course usually takes the form of a track of around 500m in length with a drop of 12 storeys in front of the Cathedral of St Paul, and draws in excess of 120,000 wild fans, so expect high stakes and big drama as the riders fight it out for the honors.

We look forward to making sure everybody attending the event will be safe while also having a  have a fun and memorable time.

Red Bull Crashed Iced Link: http://www.redbull.com/us/en/events/1331748781945/red-bull-crashed-ice-2016-saint-paul-united-states

US Pond Hockey Championships

Image result for USPHC

EPG Security is excited to announce that this year we have been asked to participate in this years US Pond Hockey Championships located on Lake Nokomis.  The tournament will be held on January 28-31, 2016 and will mark the 11th year for the championships.

The USPHC was originally started by Fred Haberman who had a vision to create a national pond hockey tournament based of memories he had as a child.  The first ever championship was held in 2006 and 120 teams from across the nation came to Minneapolis to play on the 25 rinks.

We are honored to participate in this tradition and look forward to making sure everybody attending the event will have a fun, safe and memorable time.

USPHC Link:  http://www.uspondhockey.com/page/show/236494-home

 

 

Situational Awareness

The holidays are a time for celebration with friends and family.  During this time we are more likely to be in large groups of people:  parties, malls, sporting events, concerts…   The chances of emergency situations rise, but increasing your situational awareness can help protect yourself and others.  Below are 10 tips to help improve your awareness.

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1. Learn to Predict Events

The most effective aspect of Situational Awareness involves the ability to project the future actions of elements around you.

After you have been able to identify elements in your environment and can comprehend the situation, it is time to take your Situational Awareness one step further. Use this information to think ahead and determine how it will affect future actions and events in the environment.

2. Identify Elements Around You

The first step in achieving Situational Awareness is to become aware of the important elements in your environment. Start by noticing the threats that surround you. Then expand your awareness to other non-threatening elements.

This is the most basic level of Situational Awareness where you begin to monitor, detect, and recognize multiple situational elements. These include objects, events, people and environmental factors. Basic Situational Awareness also requires you to notice the locations, conditions and actions of the elements around you.

This may sound overwhelming, but do not worry. These are skills you already use on a daily basis. The first step is designed to help you expand and improve your perception of what is happening around you.

3. Trust Your Feelings

Disorder within your family or a gut feeling that things are not right can cause you to lose proper situational awareness. This clue is one of the most reliable because the body is able to detect stimulus long before we have consciously put it all together.

4. Limit Situational Overload

Overload causes distraction, increased errors, and high stress. Prioritizing and delegating tasks and minimizing surrounding distractions can improve survival during times of overload.

5. Avoid Complacency

Assuming everything is under control will affect your vigilance. You have to actively keep yourself in the right mindset.

When things are slow or tasks are routine complacency usually occurs. The worst part is the slow creep of complacency is hardly ever noticed except in hindsight.

Continue to challenge yourself and those around you to be prepared for contingencies. Do a mental check every now and then.

6. Be Aware of Time

Time is an important factor in mastering Situational Awareness. The pace of your environment is constantly being changed by the actions of individuals, task characteristics, and outside elements. When unplanned events begin to arise, be sure to make the necessary changes to your schedule and goals to help you survive.

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7. Begin to Evaluate and Understand Situations

The next step in involves understanding multiple elements through the processes of pattern recognition, interpretation, and evaluation. Use this information to determine how it will effect your goals or in this case your ultimate survival. This will help you build a comprehensive picture of your immediate surroundings and a better understanding of Situational Awareness.

8. Actively Prevent Fatigue

Fatigue affects your ability to watch for possible danger or difficulties. Try adjusting your work routine and imposing sleep discipline to prevent wake cycles longer than 18 hours. Make sure you get at least 5 and preferably 8 hours per day of sound sleep to minimize sleep deprivation.

9. Continually Assess the Situation

When you are in a survival situation always be prepared for changes around you. Continually assess and reassess the situation to determine if you are giving yourself the best possible chance for survival. Learn what nature, the land, and new tasks are telling you, before you find yourself in a difficult situation.

10. Monitor Performance of Others

Be alert for changes in the performance of those around you caused by work overload, stress, and mistakes. When changes are needed, take action by speaking up and helping out. A weak link in your family could be the difference between success or failure in your survival.

Source:  http://besurvival.com/tips-and-tricks/10-ways-to-improve-your-situational-awareness