A passion for preparedness

Two South Jersey residents are hoping to assist businesses, schools, churches and more be prepared for the event of tragedy

TJ Varano and Carmen Del Palazzo are both managers and consultants with Safeguard Response Group, LLC, a new business they started together in the fall. With their extensive law enforcement experience, the two over the years have studied various emergency situations, ranging from active shooter events to bomb threats.

From Columbine to Sandy Hook and other shootings, bomb threats or emergency situations they studied, Del Palazzo and Varano wanted to help better prepare civilians on how to react in the event of a tragedy and lessen or avoid the damage.

The two offer a variety of training programs aimed at planning for and reacting in the event of a tragedy. Most significant is embracing a mindset that tragedy can happen anywhere at any time and that residents shouldn’t be scared, but prepared.

“You see these things happening more frequently in the news, and when [we] go around to different places we see that there is a lack of training across the country,” Varano said. “Schools have a whole week dedicated to fire prevention … but you don’t see as much for active shooter training or active assailant attacks like what are going on around the world today.

“The public and private sectors aren’t training their people as much as we feel they should be.”

Del Palazzo stressed that prevention is the number one priority, but he also wants to  prepare communities when something does occur.

“God forbid something were to occur, what are people to do?” Del Palazzo asked. “It’s so simple as fixing the mindset; people are relaxed about it. Whether it be schools, businesses and houses of worship, there’s no preparation and our goal is to fix that.”

Safeguard Response Group presents audiences with a historical overview of past tragedies at various public places, pointing out warning signs and helping people understand how best to react. While most people relate to the fight or flight mentality, others freeze in the face of danger.

After reviewing past events, Varano and Del Palazzo will study an organization’s building and demonstrate how to properly barricade doors and protect people, while also explaining  when it is best to simply escape. They can also teach how to fight back, often viewed as a last resort. But every situation can be wildly different.

“It’s basically being able to provide those options to people that might think that the normal thing to do is to just wait for something to happen, as opposed to taking an aggressive stance towards it,” Varano explained. “We want to harp on having those options.”

In essence, the two hope to make people more aware of the threats that can happen anywhere, to heighten their awareness and to better prepare them so innocent lives can be saved.

“This training is two-fold; it’s not just for your business, your school or your place or worship,” Del Palazzo insisted. “It’s for after you walk out that door with your loved ones that, in the event you see or hear something, you can do something to save others.”

More information can be found at https://www.safeguardresponsegroup.com.