Military clichés aside…these last few days provided us with some good training opportunities. Specifically, we learned that accurate information is critical, networking is essential, and adaptability is the key.
Here’s how it went down…
Information: Friday, October 25th was already shaping up to be a challenging day for us. With an already tense environment due to the incidents that took place the previous nights and the additional security challenges; we were definitely operating on a higher level of awareness.
Then to make things more interesting, I received word about the situation in Ennasr. Located only a few miles away, I was instantly concerned.
The initial report read: “One killed as Tunisian police clash with militants in the capital”. To make matters worse the incident took place near the Ennasr secondary school…and then the rumor mill kicked into high gear.
The initial article posted by Al Arabiya was not only inaccurate but in my opinion irresponsible.
Networking: Fortunately within minutes, thanks to the expat security professionals network, contacts from the Tunisian security forces, and others; we were able to not only obtain accurate information but also make timely & practical adjustments to our operations.
The rumor mill had no chance…
Adaptability: If there is one quality that expats need in order to thrive overseas its adaptability: the ability to change to fit changed circumstances.
The next crisis…
I often get emails from expats demanding “specifics”. They state that the updates I provide are too general and they need more specifics. While I appreciate each email I receive I have to remind my “specifics subscribers” that security information by its very nature has to remain general and somewhat ambiguous.
That being said here’s something to consider: *Tunisia may experience another crisis situation within the next 4 weeks and expats should be aware of the sensitive time ahead.
Crisis Situation: A circumstance or event that is a surprise to decision makers, that evokes a sense of threat (particularly physical peril), and that must be responded to within a limited amount of time.
Informed vs. Reactive
Organizations that continue to value security will easily overcome the security challenges ahead. Expats that remain informed, connected, and engaged will find it much easier to avoid the menacing winds of the rumor mills.
I feel very fortunate to have access to a dynamic network of security professionals and work for an organization that values security.
Let’s stay connected and continue to share information as we make our way through these next 4 weeks.