Announcing Meridian’s Online Store

INCIDENT COMMAND SYSTEM HANDBOOK & JOB GUIDES

December 18, 2017 – The National Incident Management System Incident Command System (ICS) is a flexible, scalable structure that provides standardized processes, procedures, organizational structure, and common terminology for incident management. This structure facilitates the integration of multiple organizations while still maintaining a coherent chain of command.
Meridian’s Incident Management Handbook (MIMH) can be used to support training, exercise, and management of all incident types and planned major events. It identifies responsibilities for key ICS positions, explains the ICS Planning Cycle, and supports critical work processes.
The MIMH is based on best practices of government agencies and industry organizations. Only information which is applicable to all organizations is included.
Meridian Job Guides are designed to support both experienced responders and those who are in training. As an experienced responder goes through the ICS Operational Planning Process, they can use the checklists to ensure that they meet their responsibilities. Some of the tasks are one-time actions; others are ongoing or repetitive for the duration of the incident.
Organizations can use the Evaluation portion of the Job Guide for certifying their personnel.
PRICE LIST
Incident Management Handbook – $30
Incident Commander – $20
Planning Section Chief – $25
Division/Group Supervisor – $20
Security Manager – $20
Safety Officer – $25
Staging Area Manager – $20

To order, please contact (251) 345-6776, info@meridian.us, or visit the Meridian Store at www.meridian.us/store.

Meridian Announces New Security Officer Training Course

Meridian.us Announces New Security officer (CSO-VSO-FSO) training Course

This 2-day course is designed to support qualifications of:

  • Company Security Officer
  • Vessel Security Officer
  • Facility Security Officer

It meets the requirements of:

  • Title 33 Code of Federal Regulations Chapter I Subchapter H
  • International Ship and Port Facility Security Code
  • International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers
  • Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2010

The course is taught by former senior regulators and industry security personnel.

Course Topics

  • Maritime Security Awareness
  • Security Organization
  • Risk Based Decision-Making
  • Risk Assessment (vessel / facility)
  • Security Plan Development
    (vessel / facility)
  • Sensitive Security Information
  • Amendments and Audits
  • Drill and Exercise Requirements
  • Recordkeeping Requirements
  • Inspections and Searches
  • Response Management

For more information or to schedule training, please contact Zac Schlarb at 904-638-1353 or zschlarb@meridian.us..

US State Department Updates Travel Warning System

Launching in January, the State Department will update how its travel advisories are issued and ranked for every country in the world to “provide U.S. citizens with relevant safety and security information.”

According to the announcement from the State Department: “Travel advisories will give advice to U.S. citizens by following a four-level classification system and providing clear actions to take. So the level one is to “exercise normal precautions;” level two would be “exercise increased caution;” level three would be “reconsider travel;” and level four would be “do not travel.””

Meridian offers travel advisory and logistics services. As Meridian is a global scale risk mitigation specialist, travel is a large part of our operations.

Meridian operators travel to “any clime and place,” just like the U.S. Marine veterans we employ. Since Meridian travels often and has learned to make our arrangements at a moment’s notice, we have decided to open up our contracted travel rates, savings and services to our clients.

Your company can pre-submit employees and personnel as well as travel documents to use the Meridian Travel Account. They can then submit an email of who will be traveling, when and where they would need to they need to depart and/or arrive. We will then respond with options that work. The travel will then be billed to the business.

Meridian can offer Marine and Offshore airfares and has access to air, ground, sea, and agent services. Meridian will get your business there fast for less.

Further, we have the ability to offer Safety and Security reviews of your travel itinerary, giving a comprehensive look into any security or logistics concerns while you travel in the United States and abroad.

For more information on Meridian’s travel services Contact Us.

Offshore Oil and Gas Regulatory Compliance 2016

In 2016, the U.S. Coast Guard conducted at least one inspection on 103 unique Floating Production Systems (FPS’) and Mobile Offshore Drilling Units (MODUs) that operated on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS). Additionally, 49 fixed platform inspections were performed.

These inspections resulted in 222 deficiencies being written on FPS’ and MODUs and 100 deficiencies on fixed platforms. Fourteen OCS units (8 MODUs, 5 FPSs and 1 platform) received an operational control action as a result of a top-level deficiency being discovered.

Deficiency category breakdown is shown by the diagrams below.

Helping your company ‘Walk the Walk’ in response readiness

As a management consulting firm, Meridian assists our clients’ compliance with safety, environmental and quality management system standards. For example, we recently conducted an external review to verify that an organization’s internal quality system is based on ISO 9001:2015. Similarly, in enhancing our clients’ contingency preparedness, our Response Services Division provides Incident Command System (ICS) training and facilitates drills and exercises.  

In “Walking the Walk,” Meridian uses ISO 9001 and ICS processes and tools in managing our tactical operations.  Potential tactical operations, which Meridian may be asked to provide, include:

  • Armed Vessel Security
  • Direct Asset Response Team
  • Event Management
  • Executive Protection
  • Fixed Site Security
  • Oil / Hazardous Material Spill Response
  • Route/Convoy Security

The ISO-ICS integrated process starts with Meridian’s standard operating procedures and policies, which creates our framework. From there, Meridian has ensured its personnel have the required training and experience for the position they are assigned to. This includes becoming familiar with the Meridian Incident Management Handbook (MIMH), as well as completing our position-specific qualification requirements.

There are numerous moving parts when it comes to managing tactical operations. There is a constant flow of information. To ensure our readiness to respond, Meridian proactively developed Incident Action Plan (IAP) templates for various types of tactical operations. These templates incorporate lessons learned and best practices.  They serve as a 70% solution, which enables Meridian to respond to the needs of a client quickly and effectively.

From the moment a client requests our services, Meridian begins updating the appropriate template with the client’s specific information.  We assess and track the current situation.  We document the client’s objectives and priorities.  We identify resources and develop assignments.

By using ICS processes and tools, Meridian can make a seamless transition from managing routine activities to supporting crisis management while  easily assimilating into the client’s response management organization.

By having things well-organized and documented, it ensures continuity of operation.  Meridian upper management can quickly step in and effectively and efficiently complete the operation if an emergency arises and the project manager is unavailable.

Once an operation is complete, Meridian electronically archives the IAPs, so they can be referenced at a later point in time if needed. We update our IAP template.  This procedure is not only ISO compliant, but it also allows us to reference the documents as needed.  

Meridian Operational Planning Cycle for Managing Tactical Operations

 

The Importance of ISO accreditation and Quality Management Systems

As an ISO-accredited and ICS-based organization, Meridian takes great pride in providing scalable, cost-effective solutions for our clients.

Using these rigorous systems, Meridian is able to set the standard for accountability in five ways:

Quality Assurance

Because Meridian has taken the time and effort to undergo the process of complying with ISO 9001:2015 and ISO 28007:2015 standards, our clients are confident that we will meet their high expectations even before our first day on the job.    

Quick and Accurate Decision Making

When minutes matter, our clients don’t have hours to respond. Having high quality management systems in place means Meridian will be able to make high quality decisions quickly and accurately.

High Efficiency

Because Meridian has these processes in place, every member of our leadership team knows how to step in and take action. A certified ISO 9001 quality management system ensures there are clear processes and communication structures in place throughout our entire organization.

Culture of Continual Improvement

One of the central tenets of ISO is fostering a culture of continual improvement. Simply put, we are not satisfied with the status quo and are constantly seeking ways to further expand our capabilities and hone our existing skill sets.

Ability to Partner with Other Organizations

Because ISO 9001:2015 and ISO 28007:2015 standards are universally accepted and respected, they provide a high measure of continuity and compatibility with other organizations and companies. Additionally, our strategic use of the Incident Command System (ICS) tools and processes enables us to provide integrated services that optimally support our clients’ contingency preparedness and response management.

As we roll out additional products and services, we look forward to assisting your organization’s effort to promote safety, security, and environmental stewardship.

Meridian Celebrates Cyber Security Awareness Month

Since 2003, October has been recognized as National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM). This collaboration between the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the National Cyber Security Alliance started this initiative to ensure the safety and security for individuals or companies during their online experiences.  

There are various types of cyber threats that result in daily occurrences. The Government Accountability Offices (GAO) mentions these threats consist of Bot-network operators, criminal groups, foreign intelligence services, hackers, insiders, phishers, spammers, spyware/malware authors, and terrorists. These threats do not just threaten the U.S. Federal Government and Critical Infrastructure, but also small businesses or individuals.  Everyone is at risk. A successful cyber-attack could have severe impacts emotionally, economically, and environmentally.

Meridian’s Cyber Security Approach identifies threats & vulnerabilities, assesses risk exposure, develops protection & detection measures, establishes contingency plans, and responds and recovers from cyber security incidents. Meridian has multi-skilled specialists that can deliver Cyber Security services that includes:

  • Cyber Security Policies
  • Cyber Security Management Plans
  • Cyber Security Procedures
  • Cyber Risk Assessments
  • Office Contingency Plans
  • Vessel Contingency Plans
  • Cyber Security Training & Awareness

10 Basic Cybersecurity Measures (Water ISAC)

  1. Maintain an Accurate Inventory of Control System Devices and Eliminate Any Exposure of this Equipment to External Networks
  2. Implement Network Segmentation and Apply Firewalls
  3. Use Secure Remote Access Methods
  4. Establish Role-Based Access Controls and Implement System Logging
  5. Use Only Strong Passwords, Change Default Passwords, and Consider Other Access Controls
  6. Maintain Awareness of Vulnerabilities and Implement Necessary Patches and Updates
  7. Develop and Enforce Policies on Mobile Devices
  8. Implement an Employee Cybersecurity Training Program
  9. Involve Executives in Cybersecurity
  10. Implement Measures for Detecting Compromises and Develop a Cybersecurity Incident Response Plan

 

How to Protect Yourself in a Crowd in an Active Shooter Situation

Gunfire raining down on fellow concertgoers may be one of my worst nightmares. Knowledge of how deadly attacks on contained crowds can be is part of the reason I have trouble attending concerts, sporting events or other places where large groups of people are confined to a relatively small area.

What do you do in those situations when shots start ringing? Find Cover. If no cover is available, find Concealment. Cover is anything that physically protects you from enemy fire. The best cover is sand or dirt. Something that gives a little to slow a bullet.  Active shooter horrorists often use AR-15 rifles, which can’t shoot through 18″ of sand, but can shoot through most 1/2″ of plates of steel.

Therefore, an AR15 can go through telephone poles, mailboxes, cars (generally minus the engine block), speaker boxes at a concert, and most other fixtures at a concert venue. Ideally, you would look for microterrain, such as berms, retaining walls, or hills. If the concert is outside, see if there is a small depression or crevice in the ground that would allow you to better cover your body or vital organs.

Given that there isn’t much cover in a concert environment, especially from a shooter at a high angle, the next thing you should seek is concealment. According to initial reports and footage, the shooter at the Jason Aldean concert was using an automatic weapon. With such firearms there is relatively no ability to engage a point target, especially over distance. Therefore, he was aiming at masses of people. Being able to conceal your location behind a sign, a banner, or anything that obstructs the shooters view is better than being out in the open.

Quick, careful listening to determine the type of weapon and the direction of fire can help you make a lifesaving decision of what sort of cover or concealment you should take.

In closing, I echo the sentiments of the nation. My thoughts and prayers are with the victims of this horrific attack. Just as the Boston Strong united a wonderful city, let’s pray this nation takes initiative in routing out hate of all kinds.