Capitol Hill Security Incident Scares Congress- Could it Happen To You?

The Capitol Hill Security chase and shooting yesterday gave a bad scare to everyone – including Senators, Congresspeople, tourists, furloughed federal employees and staff who still have their jobs.

The atmosphere on Capitol Hill was already so toxic that almost everyone jumped to the (incorrect) conclusion that it was a disgruntled voter, and so there was shock when:

1.  It was a young WOMAN
2.  There was a 1 year old child in the back seat
3.  The driver of the car was not armed and mentally ill, (probably schizophrenic).

Where are you going today on a beautiful Fall Friday?  Almost anywhere you’re planning to go has had a major security incident in the past three years…. whether it is:

A school
A movie theatre
A mall
A hospital
The office
A public building
A hair salon

And if a security incident did happen where you were, are you confident you’d know what to do?

That brief incident at the Capitol showed how in literally one minute, the situation goes from what
passes for normal at the Capitol, to total chaos, fear and terror.

The communications systems were in place to send out a quick “Shelter In Place” order, and to keep
people updated.   The poor tourists and staff who were walking in the area were laying on the ground, hiding behind trees, and had no idea what was going on – so they probably experienced the greatest fear.

The Capitol Hill police, the first responders, were probably not expecting to have the driver be a woman with no political agenda, if you see a car trying to rush a barracide, the logical assumption is that they have an explosive device and are trying to get closer to the target, but that was no true in this case.

So before you venture out for the weekend, keep these tips in mind, write them down and keep them in your purse or wallet.

1.  Be Situationally Aware – note where you at all times, how close a door is, or an alternate route for
your car when you’re in traffic.

2.  Spend 30 minutes deciding how you would react in an emergency shooter situation, and make a plan, like deciding to use your car keys as a weapon, or keeping pepper spray in your purse.

3.  Remember to turn the sound off on your cell phone, if you’re caught in a developing security incident.

4.  If police are on the scene, follow their directions quickly and exactly.

5.  Have a local emergency number pre-set in your phone so you can call for help.As they find out more about the Capitol Hill incident, this will probably be catalogued as an isolated incident,  which took place at a very inappropriate time, and a very inappropriate place, but it’s another wake up

for everyone.

Everything can change in a New York minute — be ready, just in case it changes for you!

This entry was posted in active shooter, active shooter, Capitol Hill shooting incident, Protection Profiles, Risk, RiskAlert, Threats, Workplace Violence, and tagged , , , , , , , , by Caroline Ramsey-Hamilton. Bookmark the permalink.

About Caroline Ramsey-Hamilton

Caroline Ramsey-Hamilton is a leading expert in assessing security risk in both information security and facilities security including security risk assessments, active shooter and security risk assessments for hospitals and healthcare organizations, cybersecurity, nuclear security, and also auditing, analyzing and measuring compliance with all major security standards, like DHS, FEMA 426-428, The Joint Commission, HIPAA Security & Privacy Rules, the HIPAA Omnibus Rule, and OSHA 3148 for Preventing Workplace Violence. And including both C-TPAT and CFATS. She is currently working on a universal set of easy security tools that will make it easy to assess risk in a variety of companies, agencies and business. Her company, Risk & Security LLC, works with more than 500 clients around the world using a program that standardizes site surveys and assessments and makes it easier to compare facilities and measure their level of security. She posts breaking security & risk alerts at She's also an animal lover and tree hugger, and musician who loves dogs, horses, kitties, house rabbits, parrots, and especially beagles! I support and other animal rescue organizations and work toward a more peaceful and green world.

Leave a Reply