It’s not that we really need more reminders of the increasing complexities of the world we live in, but the horrific terrorist acts in Paris last week reverberated across the Globe in what felt like a new and profound way.

The personal tragedies were obviously immediate and painfully clear to see. So many lives lost and others forever affected by the actions of a few. I think that the political and economic impact of these events generally take longer to work themselves out, but there’s no doubt that there will be many.

One thing that clearly struck me was how buildings, an office and a store, were again the launch points of the attacks and how the normal daily routine of people gathering in a place to work, to shop, to go to a movie, etc…can put them at risk. And the people who own, manage and work for these buildings, fairly or unfairly, know intimately that much of that risk, and the associated responsibility to keep people safe, is transferred to them. They’ve been dealing with that reality here in the US since 9/11 and in far too many other tragedies since.

It’s events like this that often serve to remind us to review how prepared we are to deal with similar or related situations. While it’s simplistic and naïve to say that planning alone will prevent situations like this from occurring, it’s a necessary first step, followed by preparation, toward meeting the obligations of caring for people and managing the risk associated with owning and operating real estate.

Please look for the Building Engines Operational Risk Assessment Survey coming out this week to help you assess where you might be able to improve.