Inside Disruption Blog

Civil Unrest Continues in the U.S. and Around the World

Oscar Villanueva
June 4, 2020



Security Tips for Individuals and Businesses on the Front Lines

By Oscar Villanueva

Managing Director of Security Services at R3 Continuum



The May 25, 2020 death of George Floyd during his arrest in Minneapolis has resulted in significant protests in multiple locations across the U.S. and around the world. These protests have at times coincided with violence and looting. Curfews have been imposed in many areas, but many businesses will still be exposed to security issues as unrest continues throughout the night. In many cases the curfews have been largely ineffective in bringing the violence and looting under control.


Protests during daylight hours have been non-violent. However, when the sun goes down activities have become unpredictable and appear to change considerably as most of the looting and violence is reported to be occurring at night, including by parties leveraging the protests for other acts of opportunity. Individuals and businesses, especially at night, have faced a threat to their safety and security. Having an action plan to prevent injury or looting is essential.


What you need to know


Businesses and individuals in areas of protests should put together and implement a strategy to prevent injuries and damage to property. The security tips listed below can help businesses remain safe and secure during these events.


For individuals


Be alert and practice situational awareness, including:


  • Follow mask-wearing and social distancing guidelines to help minimize exposure to COVID-19 infection
  • Do not be distracted by your smartphone
  • Be aware of your surroundings if you are entering what appears to be an unsafe situation
  • Always be aware of escape routes for emergencies, and quickly leave areas of unrest
  • Avoid protest-related large gatherings that appear disruptive and potentially violent
  • If you suspect an unrest situation, stay away from locations likely to be the target or site of protests like government buildings
  • If violence occurs, evacuate the area as fast as possible and seek shelter
  • In case civil unrest disrupts supply chain for critical services, keep your car full of fuel to facilitate evacuation


For businesses


  • Ensure emergency preparedness and business continuity plans are up to date and activated
  • Have an emergency communication plan for employees
  • Ensure evacuation procedures are current and properly communicated to all employees and visitors
  • Have an alternate site to stand up essential company businesses as soon as possible in case the main facility is not accessible
  • Secure your facility by boarding up windows and doors
  • Consider hiring private security to protect your property
  • Secure external resources in advance to assist in an emergency
  • Consider supplies necessary to function and secure those items ahead of time


Periods of unrest will ebb and flow in the short term but eventually will subside. If you don’t have the resources to implement the security tips mentioned above, consider hiring a security and crisis response professional to assist.


Ensure the physical and psychological safety and security of your organization. Talk to us.

Oscar Villanueva

Managing Director of Security Services & Crisis Preparedness, Oscar

As a former federal security and law enforcement agent and executive, and now security consultant, Mr. Villanueva has led large scale high-performing security, law enforcement and training consulting missions and operations in several large metropolitan areas worldwide including in the U.S.A., Europe, Latin America, Asia, the Caribbean, and Africa. Oscar is bilingual in English and Spanish.

Mr. Villanueva is currently a member of ASIS International and the organization’s Crime Prevention Council. Oscar has also worked in the ASIS Professional Development Council, where he served as immediate past Chair of the Council's mentoring program. Mr. Villanueva is a Member of the Association of Threat Assessment Professionals (ATAP), and the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP).