This article is brought to you by BOMA/Suburban Chicago's Emergency Preparedness Committee
Written By: Sara Baker, Business Development Manager, American Technologies, Inc.
Recently our attention has been dominated by the reporting of an ever-increasing number of hurricane related disasters along the Gulf and Atlantic Coasts and the historic increase of wildfires burning along the West Coast. However, it’s good to remember that the Midwest is no stranger to extreme weather conditions itself. Those living in Illinois and the surrounding states have dealt with tornados, high winds, hail, ice storms, blizzards, and more for as long as humans have lived here.
Although many of us in the Chicagoland area tend to tough out the winter storms with a shrug and a bad joke like: “Hey, cold enough for ya, yet?,” the Midwest extreme weather events take their toll on buildings and the systems their operators have in place to protect the people who occupy them.
As we approach the winter months following typical (and increasing atypical) storms, and with “business as usual” upended by the pandemic, it’s more important than ever for building owners and operators to properly plan for extreme weather events.
The good news is that CRE members don’t have to work in a vacuum when it comes to planning ahead. There are several, science-based disaster recovery firms that CRE members can partner with to implement new technologies in advance of weather events that help to mitigate future damage and losses.
For example, prior to catastrophic weather-related disasters, companies like Indoor Reality are employing 3-D scanning technology, to photograph and measure data for up to 200,000 square feet of a building’s interior space per day. The result is interactive and dynamic interior 3-D and 2-D models that establish every detail of that space and allow operators to take preventative actions where needed.
When there is a catastrophic storm, recent innovations such as drone, thermal imaging, and artificial intelligence technologies are now being deployed to accurately measure structure integrity while safely documenting any damages. The data outputs include moisture readings inside of structures and thermal differences in the exterior envelope of a structure to assist in damage assessments.
Whether it’s a blizzard, a flood, a fire, or some other disaster, being prepared greatly helps to reduce the size of your property damage or loss and is vital for protecting the lives of your most important assets; the people who occupy your properties.
To learn more about disaster preparedness for your property, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Written by: Paul Halm, MA, Security Supervisor, Nalco Water
“Signs, signs, everywhere a sign” - remember it? Well at least, some of us do. The hit song by the Five Man Electrical Band back in the ‘70s has taken on new meaning in recent months. Today, when companies are returning their employees back to work or planning to in the coming months, safety information about COVID-19 is vital. One effective method to protect and inform your tenants, guests and staff is with great signage.
By Jason Sowers
Developments in technology solutions for the security industry have had a positive impact on businesses, customers and employees – in more ways than one. By using manned guarding companies coupled with the latest technology solutions, it will help to improve the delivery of information regarding possible threats. I had the opportunity to interview a large security firm’s Chief Information Officer, regarding how the walls between physical security and cybersecurity are coming down, and how these formerly disparate worlds are converging.
Q: How do we operate effectively in an ever-increasingly complicated environment?
A: The answer is found in a holistic focus on the ecosystem. Today's safety and security ecosystems include lots of great tools like threat intelligence platforms, video analytics, access control systems, cybersecurity software, GPS-based patrol route management, and well-trained security professionals. Well-designed ecosystems of the future will shift the model from "detect and respond" to "predict and prevent." Enabling effective communication between an ecosystem's components is critical to maximizing efficiency and productivity and achieving the best safety and security outcomes. But communication isn't enough. We need to be able to see the "order" in what otherwise might seem like "chaos" because of the volume and variety of information.
Q: Where does artificial intelligence (AI) come in?
A: This is where the magic happens. One key challenge that future ecosystems face is enabling people and tech to work together effectively. We need AI that is not just smart like humans, but smart with humans. AI can enable efficient and effective cooperation between ecosystem components, including both tech and people. Such AI ensures the effectiveness of onsite security by reasoning over the information provided by all the different components and understanding not just what's likely to happen, but what to do to drive better outcomes.
Q: How are you currently utilizing AI?
A: Our AI driven product is able to transform data into actionable insights across a security ecosystem and then ensure they get actioned. This isn’t hype. Customers who use this product have seen, on average, over a 20% reduction in safety and security incidents through the use of AI. To generate the best outcomes, AI-enabled ecosystems need to be able to interface with all of a company's security systems and assets. Today that includes things like remote video feeds and video analytics data, crowdsourced security and great well-trained security professionals. Over time, the data sources will expand and begin to include information from IoT sensors, drones, robots, and more. Workflows today task our security professionals or client resources as appropriate via text and email. In the future, drones and other automation technology will be able to play a part and receive taskings and report results automatically. It's all about the ecosystem.
Q: What is the next phase?
A: It's clear that, as time goes on, the walls between physical security and cybersecurity will go away. The walls between people and technology will also come down. The best outcomes will come to those with an ecosystem that allows ALL the safety and security components to cooperate at light speed, thus taking advantage of the reasoning power of artificial intelligence. This is how we'll bring all the ecosystem's resources to bear in a way that drives better outcomes. We truly are on the cusp of a brave new world.
About the Author: Jason Sowers is a Business Development Manager at Allied Universal, a leading security and facility services company in North America with over 235,000 employees and revenues over $8.5 billion. www.aus.com
Brought to you by BOMA/Suburban Chicago's Emergency Preparedness Committee
SARS-CoV-2, otherwise known as the novel coronavirus, may place countless people’s lives in danger if not properly prevented or mitigated properly. The good news is that although the coronavirus is new, viruses are not. Experience with Ebola, norovirus, MRSA and other viral contagions have taught scientists, and those in commercial real estate (CRE) who combat viruses, quite a bit over the years.
As part of a demand response to novel pathogen and occupant wellbeing, CRE members have implemented necessary protocols to help ensure the safety of their people as their building’s greatest asset. Enhanced cleaning of high touch point surfaces is now common to daily scope of work. These enhanced procedures include CDC approved cleaning products, tools, technology equipment and processes to ensure overall efficacy of disinfection tasks.
Science-based disaster recovery companies are deploying added-value innovations for their residential, education and commercial clients that compliment traditional methods like EPA-registered chlorine or peroxide-based cleaners which are known to be highly effective against the COVID-19 virus and that are designed for disinfection of hard, nonporous surfaces.
“The industry is embracing newer technologies to supplement traditional ones.” Explained Scott Moore, EVP, Operations and Environment, Health & Safety at American Technologies, Inc. based in Anaheim, CA. “UVGI mobile room sanitizers, for example, work well to compliment other tools like hydrogen peroxide mist foggers for the disinfection of indoor environments.”
The application of UV-C energy to deactivate microorganisms is known as Germicidal Irradiation or UVGI. Artificial UV-C energy is produced in germicidal ultraviolet lamps that produce UV radiation by ionizing low pressure mercury vapor. These lamps are similar to typical fluorescent household lighting fixtures, but do not have the phosphorescent coating which imparts the soft white light. Ionized mercury emits a predominantly discreet wavelength of 254nm in the UV-C band, which is an ideal wavelength for destroying the DNA of single-celled organisms. Shutdown of an organism’s metabolic and reproductive processes result from the absorption of UV light, rendering it no longer pathogenic.
These new techniques go a long way toward making a building safer, but one of the biggest gaps that still needs to be filled for many building operators is the communication process. Notifying employees and tenants with customized action plans that are truly effective is typically a manual and arduous process. What’s more, many of those plans are housed on different computers and devices, making it hard to manage and find in a emergency situations.
Thankfully today, there’s an app for that.
Several companies have introduced mobile-based solutions. Companies like In Case of Crisis, a Crisis Management Application from RockDove Solutions based in Washington, DC, offer client specific “playbooks” complete with business continuity plans, evacuation maps, fire and flood safety information, and more, customized for each building and client.
The same types of apps are also useful on a daily basis in combating coronavirus. They offer options for daily COVID-19 check-ins so operators know who’s okay and who’s feeling sick and can take action before the virus spreads to others.
Whether it’s the coronavirus, a flood, a fire, or some other disaster, being prepared greatly helps to reduce the size of the loss and having a plan in place that all stakeholders can have access to is even more vital for saving lives.
Written By: Sara Baker, ATI Restoration
To learn more about disaster preparedness and virus disinfection services, please email: email@example.com
How to Safely Prepare for Re-Entry
by Tim Chimack, Rose Paving LLC
The COVID-19 outbreak has left many building owners feeling stuck between a rock and a hard place. After all, the mortgage doesn't care if your tenants can’t pay the rent because of Coronavirus.
It’s a bad situation for everyone but there are things commercial property managers can do to ease the strain on their tenants, limit their liability and prepare for a phased re-entry in the coming months.
Operational Guidance for Essential Businesses
While many tenants in commercial buildings are working from home, essential workers are still commuting to work and putting themselves at risk, which is why it’s important to maintain parking lots to accommodate these individuals and the increased curb-side customer traffic.
Parking Lot TrafficFortunately, you can ensure safe building operations, better protect workers, visitors and customers amid COVID-19 while your parking paving partners are hard at work performing repairs and maintenance to client properties.
Mobilizations/PhasesPhased re-entry is the buzzword nowadays but what does it mean for your property? It means that you will have a unique opportunity to perform essential work and repairs while your parking lots are vacant. No cars on the lot means work can be completed in less time, which adds up to enhanced savings down the road.
LiabilityNow’s also a terrific time to review your liability and fix those things you’ve been meaning to fix before you reopen for business and someone potentially gets hurt, like potholes, uneven concrete, faded lot marking and trip and fall hazards.
Peace of mindWith your lot repaired and your building prepared for safe re-entry, you can revel in something that few commercial property owners are likely to experience in the coming days, peace of mind. Knowing you’ve done everything you can to ensure the safety of tenants, customers and staff, you’re free to move ahead and get work extra done now while the schedule is more flexible. Trust us, once the economy reopens, the schedule to perform work will be less free and have a much longer turn-around time.
Guidance for Business Continuity During COVID-19
To best serve our clients during this time of crisis, we have compiled the following guidance measures for business continuity during COVID-19. Here you’ll find guidance on how to safely prepare commercial buildings for the safe return of tenants, building personnel, visitors, vendors and customers alike.
Commercial property managers will also find safety procedures and protocols to implement, update and/or enhance to ensure the safe operation of your commercial properties in the post-COVID-19 world.
InfrastructureSome paving companies are fortunate enough to have remained working during this pandemic but it’s not due to luck. Make sure your parking lot paving partner has a fully dedicated leadership team and staff work tirelessly to ensure that their IT infrastructure is sound, secure and able to function under the increased strain of staff working from home.
For a paving company, you’d think the emphasis would be on physical infrastructure but in this case, it’s the commitment to mobile and work at home IT functionality that enabled has enabled the innovative players to operate and serve clients during these trying times.
Working from homeLike many organizations, the successful parking lot paving companies have office personnel working from home, serving clients with the same efficiency and reliability as they always have, only now with greater commitment and perspective. It’s no longer about keeping clients happy. It’s about doing our part a professional service provider to ensure our clients can serve their staff and customers - essential workers and the medical professionals who patronize their businesses.
Social DistancingIn our business, it’s paramount to provide services that are performed outside in wide open spaces, typically roped off to the general public. This helps us practice social distancing and keep our crews and clients safe. As we move into the stages of phased re-entry, commercial property owners are reminded to not only practice social distancing but also implement measures that make social distancing easy and intuitive for staff and clients inside their buildings, like marking out where customers should stand with tape and installing sneeze guards between registers and customers.
PPEPPE is our favorite new acronym and now part of our everyday vocabulary. Make sure your parking lot paving partners are fully equipped with PPE to allow for safely meeting with clients on site; crews to perform work with ease so that staff can safely return to the office when the time comes. Taking every measure possible to ensure minimal contact and protect staff, crew and clients from the COVID-19 risk is a new top priority and your paving partner should have the proper measures in place to provide that assurance.
Though PPE is hard to come by and should never be hoarded, commercial property owners should still make sure they have enough PPE to ensure the safety of their staff and customers, and cross train their staff in the correct application, use and disposal of PPE equipment.
Reliable Information During COVID-19
For many commercial property owners, the Coronavirus was a wakeup call. Many woke up and realized that, in addition to the biological threat posed to their staff and customers, commercial property owners must also grapple with the economic threat to their business.
There is a light at the end of this tunnel and we can reach it if we stick together, stay apart and implement the measures that keep tenants, staff and customers safe.
The COVID-19 pandemic spread quickly across the United States in February and March, forcing cities to impose stay-at home anGetting Back to Work-Preparing Buildings for Reentry - revised 4-28-20.pdfd shelter-in-place orders. Building operations had to adjust as non-essential personnel worked from home. We are now preparing for a phased re-entry of office buildings over the coming months.
To provide guidance on building operations and workforce issues, BOMA International assembled a task group from across North America to help owners and managers plan for what is coming.
This document provides guidance for preparing commercial buildings for the safe return of office tenants, building personnel, visitors, vendors, contractors, and others, and identifies other operational and safety procedures and protocols that should be implemented, updated, or enhanced as we prepare to live and work in a post-COVID-19 world.
This is a framework for developing your individual property or portfolio plans. Information presented represents suggested best practices and procedures and identifies questions and issues you should consider.
CLICK HERE to view the entire document
Government Affairs CommitteeDebby Pyznarski, Chair
In an effort to keep our members well informed, the Government Affairs Committee regularly reviews news feeds, State and Local legislative initiatives, and other relevant sources to keep you up-to-date on issues that could impact you and your organizations.
1. “The first know COVID-19 wrongful death lawsuit has been filed in Illinois. Named among the defendants is a landlord that owned and managed…”Click Here to read the entire article.
2. The Treasury Department and IRS just sent out some helpful guidance on the CARES Act that could impact your Net Operating Carryback Losses. In summary, the decrease in tax attributable to the net operating carryback loss is applied against 5 unpaid amounts of tax. Any remainder of the decrease is credited or refunded within the 90-day period. Please consult with your CPA or tax attorney for details.
3. When members of the Government Affairs Committee and Board of Directors were on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC earlier this year, we were asking for a fix to a “typo” in the 2017 Tax Law which reverted Leasehold Depreciation, now known as QIP (Qualified Improvement Property), from 15 to 39 years. The CARES Act fixed our ask! This is a BIG WIN for Property Owners. See: https://www.bisnow.com/national/news/economy/cares-act-expands-greatly-deductions-for-ti-retailers-and-restaurants-103833?utm_source=CopyShare&utm_medium=Browser&utm_source=outbound_pub_116&utm_campaign=outbound_issue_37777&utm_content=outbound_link_7&utm_medium=email
HOW TO ACCESS THE WEBINAR: To access this recording, go to this link https://learn.boma.org/products/covid-19-maintaining-building-operations-and-preparing-for-re-occupancy?force_login=1 and log in with your BOMA Int'l credential. If you don't have your credentials, just click on the "Forgot your Password" link. You can also find this product in your BOMA Int’l Dashboard after you've logged in.”
Potable Water Issues
Debby Pyznarski, the Chair of BOMA/Suburban Chicago’s Government Affairs Committee, obtained the below letter from the Department of Homeland Security regarding the many rumors and facts circulating around the country related to coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Please review and share with your teams.
FEMA Coronavirus Rumor Control Website: https://www.fema.gov/Coronavirus-Rumor-Control
The purpose of this FEMA page is to help the public distinguish between rumors and facts regarding the response to coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Rumors can easily circulate within communities during a crisis, stay informed with our updated myth vs. facts related to the federal (COVID-19) response.
For more information on the coronavirus, please visit coronavirus.gov. You can also visit our coronavirus (COVID-19) response page for more updates on the federal response.
Myth: There is a national lockdown and the entire country will be quarantined for two weeks.
Fact: There is no national lockdown. As with all information online or shared via social media, it is important to verify the source of the information. You can find the latest information as well as links to additional resources at www.coronavirus.gov.
Myth: FEMA has deployed military assets.
Fact: No, FEMA does not have military assets. Like all emergencies, response is most successful when it is locally executed, state managed and federally supported. Each state’s governor is responsible for response activities in their state, to include establishing curfews, deploying the National Guard if needed and any other restrictions or safety measures they deem necessary for the health and welfare of their citizens.
Myth: I need to stockpile as many groceries and supplies as I can.
Fact: Please only buy what your family needs for a week. It is important to remember that many families may be unable to buy a supply of food and water for weeks in advance. Consumer demand has recently been exceptionally high – especially for grocery, household cleaning, and some healthcare products. Freight flows are not disrupted, but stores need time to restock.
Myth: I heard that the government is sending $1,000 checks. How do I sign up?
Fact: The U.S. Government is not mailing checks in response to COVID-19 at this time. Anyone who tells you they can get you the money now is a scammer. It’s important that you only trust information coming from official sources. The Federal Trade Commission recently provided more information about this scam and other common COVID-19 related scams on their website.
Myth: Only those over 60 years of age and those with existing health problems are at risk from the Coronavirus.
Fact: It is an unfortunate rumor that only people over 60 years of age are at risk of getting this disease. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), those at higher risk include older adults and people with serious chronic medical conditions. However, symptoms can range from mild to severe with and may have different complications for each individual. The CDC has a list of COVID-19 symptoms you may experience. Please continue to follow the official information from the CDC.
Thank you and stay safe.
W. S. Brown
Section Chief - Commercial Facilities
Stakeholder Engagement Division
Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency
Office: 703-603-5019 (O) | Cell: 202-860-6603 (C) | Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The below article was written and posted on the BOMA Chicago website on 3/20/20:
Governor JB Pritzker announced on Friday, March 20th that he signed a statewide stay at home order, aiming to keep new cases of COVID-19 from rapidly increasing and ensure the state's health care system remains fully operational to treat patients in need of urgent care.
The order takes effect 5 p.m. on Saturday, March 21, 2020. In addition to the stay at home provisions, it also orders all local government units across the state to halt all evictions and bans gatherings of more than 10 people.
All first responders, emergency management personnel, law enforcement personnel, health care workers and others working to support Essential Businesses and Essential Government Functions like grocery stores and pharmacies are exempt from this stay at home order.
Additionally, building management and maintenance are categorized as Essential Infrastructure, meaning these individuals may leave their residence to provide any services or perform any work necessary to offer, provision, operate, maintain and repair Essential Infrastructure.
According to Chicago Department of Buildings Commissioner Judith Frydland at the Department of Buildings, construction is specifically exempted from the Executive order, however, workers must comply with precautions set forth on the local, state and national level.
The governor's action today formalizes his calls this week for Illinoisans to stay home as much as possible, aside from meeting their basic needs. In that regard, the stay at home order permits a range of activities that will allow Illinoisans to get their necessities while maintaining social distance from others, which include but are not limited to:
Essential Government Functions:
All services provided by state and local governments needed to ensure the continuing operation of the government agencies and provide for the health, safety and welfare of the public
Essential Businesses and Operations:
All non-essential business and operations must cease, aside from Minimum Basic Operations. Business can continue with employees working from home. Minimum Basic Operations includes the minimum necessary activities to maintain the value of inventory, preserve plant and equipment condition, ensure security, process payroll and employee benefits and facilitate employees working remotely.
The order also closes licensed child care centers and all childcare homes serving more than six children. The Pritzker administration is working to expand the availability of child care for essential workers, while protecting the health of the children and child care teachers and home providers. A new Emergency Child Care Center license is being created with more flexibility but much smaller group sizes to ensure social distancing for children in care.
Only essential travel is permitted at this time and must be done in accordance with social distancing requirements. That includes travel related to:
1515 E. Woodfield Rd, Suite 110
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Fax: (847) 995-0971
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