From Building Security: Handbook for Architectural Planning and Design

Barbara A. Nadel, FAIA
Principal, Barbara Nadel Architect
Forest Hills, New York

There are two big forces at work, external and internal. We have very little control over external forces such as tornadoes, earthquakes, floods, disasters, illness and pain. What really matters is the internal force. How do I respond to those disasters?

LEO BUSCAGLIA (1925 1998)
U.S. author and educator


Residential and commercial buildings share the common need to protect occupants, assets, and ongoing operations. Safe cities and streets instill civic pride and enhance the quality of life for those at home, school, and work. Maintaining secure homes and communities ensures personal safety and peace of mind.

History has shown that acts of terrorism, crime, violence, natural and human-error disasters, and unpredictable emergencies can indelibly change physical, economic, and emotional landscapes around the world. In an increasingly global society, disasters often have ramifications far beyond their immediate point of impact, through disrupted lives and livelihoods, and nations sending disaster response teams. Governments inevitably shoulder most of the response and recovery costs, in human and financial resources. However, the ability of individuals, households, businesses, organizations, and communities to plan for and respond to disasters efficiently and rebound quickly can mitigate personal and economic losses. Mitigation activities can prevent an emergency, reduce damaging effects of unavoidable crisis situations, and result in orderly service restoration.

This chapter provides an overview of home and business security issues, including crime prevention, natural disasters, disaster response efforts, and emergency management techniques (Table 12.1). Many of...

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