As you may know, one of the goals of the Security Department is to assist in emergencies, and the outbreak of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) is no exception. Employees have remained vigilant and enacted the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) protocols to assist in protecting ourselves and each other from the virus. At the time of this writing, we have held three virtual meetings for TLA’s Emergency Action Team and continued communications with local Emergency Management agencies, Savannah/Hilton Head Airport, Chatham Emergency Services, and Chatham County Police Department. We also are in contact with approximately 75 other gated communities throughout the country and are staying abreast of their response levels and developing trends.
Increased Security Measures
When we began using ABDi’s Access Management Software in 2015, I wrote a series of articles regarding preauthorizing entry for all guests and vendors. Over the past five years, I have included this information in numerous Security Updates. Unfortunately, it seems that not everyone has gotten on board with the concept of preauthorization. Simply stated, if you are expecting anyone at your house (including commercial workers/vendors), you should preauthorize their visit prior to their arrival. Vendors still must comply with policies regarding their entry, such as purchasing a daily pass or an annual RFID. However, we still are interested in knowing where they are authorized to be within the community. Other than access related to a funeral, all party and event participants need to be preauthorized as well. You can easily accomplish preauthorizing your guests and vendors online.
Approximately 48% of our residents are preauthorizing their guests and vendors and utilizing the website (www.GateAccess.net) and ABDi’s smartphone app. In my humble opinion, 48% is not a very acceptable rate. I would prefer to see this rate increase to 75% of all preauthorizations done online. Following is some the information you need to know to authorize online.
- The Community Code is TLA.
- Your User Name is the primary email address TLA has on file.
- Your Password is your TLA Personal Identification Number (PIN).
Security personnel strive to make sure that guests and vendors are processed through the gates as quickly as possible without any trouble. However, there are occasions when problems may arise if the person is not preauthorized or does not know where they are going. Please help us to help you and your guests or vendors by preauthorizing all expected arrivals and ensuring that they know the following information:
- The address they are visiting - This information is preferred, as we have only one 600 Landings Way South, but we have more than two dozen occupants within the community with the last name of Cook.
- How to correctly spell the sponsoring member’s name - Stephens and Stevens may sound the same but ultimately provide different results.
- What name the resident provided for access - The resident authorizes Timmy’s Tree Service to enter, but I only give my name at the gate. The officer validating the entry does not know that Tim Cook works for Timmy’s Tree Service or vice versa.
As stated in a recent Coronavirus Update from The Landings Association, (landings.org/news/2020/03/20/coronavirus-update-landings-association), we are not screening specifically for COVID-19 at our gates, which is consistent with other gated communities throughout the country. We consulted with two residents who are former CDC employees and physicians, and they have agreed that screening at our entrances is not warranted from an epidemiological perspective. Containing the spread of COVID-19 is better accomplished by each resident practicing social distancing, proper hygiene, and exposure reduction protocols as outlined by the CDC. As a single-family detached community, there is inherent social distancing from our gates to a visitor’s destination. In other words, there is no “unavoidable social interaction” resulting from access.
Do not live in fear, but be purposefully mindful of your daily actions and choices. This, too, shall pass.