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5 OFFICE SECURITY TIPS TO REDUCE RISKS

5 OFFICE SECURITY TIPS TO REDUCE RISKS

Every day we address questions to avoid risking the health and safety of ourselves and our loved ones.

Do I have enough gas to get to work?

Is my child dressed warm enough for school?

Did I turn the oven off before leaving the house?

When we arrive at our workplace, we expect our employer has done the same for us to ensure that we feel comfortable and safe in the office environment. However, there are various office security risks that business owners must consider on a daily basis. Not only does this include external threats, such as thieves and cyber attacks, but it also includes internal threats, such as understanding who your employees are.

Below we have listed 5 office security tips to help you reduce your business’ risks while boosting your employee’s morale.

5 OFFICE SECURITY TIPS TO REDUCE RISKS

1. BE PREPARED FOR AN EMERGENCY

Just as it is important to have both evacuation and ‘shelter in place’ procedures, it is as equally important to conduct periodic drills so new staff are aware of them. The front entrance should be quickly lockable and interior doors should also be lockable from the inside in caseworkers need to shelter in place.

An important office security tip to always keep in mind is to not block your emergency exit. A blocked exit can put your life, as well as others, at risk.

2. DON’T OPEN THE DOOR TO THREATS

Have an access control policy in place and commit to it.

The types of thieves who target businesses are not usually drug addicts or homeless people. Rather, these individuals blend into office environments and have well rehearsed stories to explain their presence. Trusting your policies is your best bet to prevent them from infiltrating your workplace.

Be aware of people asking ‘probing’ questions, such as open and close times, locations of cameras or critical infrastructure, and information on security schedules. Answering these questions can help them gain knowledge that will aid in their future attempt of breaking into the location.

3. KEEP TRACK OF ACCESS EQUIPMENT

Keep your keys and access cards on you at all times and have a policy in place for rekeying and auditing cards. Do not issue master keys unless absolutely necessary. Also, don’t forget about your temporary badges – it is important to keep those properly secured at all times.

Change all alarm codes at regular intervals, particularly after an employee has left the organization. Additionally, check your door locks for tampering on a regular basis. Tissue paper stuffed in a door latch is a common tactic for thieves, as it allows them to return later when the site is closed down.

4. KNOW YOUR STAFF

Always conduct background checks on new hires, regardless of the position. For sensitive positions, consider using an agency that specializes in these investigations. Social media and Court Services Online are both easy and free ways to learn more about the person you are considering hiring.

Be aware of personal issues that may spill over into the workplace, particularly those that involve a workplace violence dimension. Examples include difficult divorces, unresolved grievances with co-workers and supervisors, or stalking-type issues. If you are concerned about a possible escalation to workplace violence, obtain a specialist’s help.

5. BE CYBER AWARE

  1. Use a secure password and change it regularly. Hackers can defeat dictionary-based passwords in less than five seconds. Phrases work great, especially when combined with numerals and symbols.
  2. Do not leave your device unattended. All devices should auto-lock after 60 seconds of idle. Any data stored on a USB or external hard drive should also be encrypted.
  3. Do not use public WiFi for business. WiFi is a gateway into your network and is frequently the source of cyber attacks.
  4. Back up your data off-site, and do not store sensitive client or employee information on the computer’s hard drive.
  5. Do not click on unknown links in your email. There have been many recent incidents of large organizations falling victim to ransomware schemes, which originated through an employee opening a link that appeared to be legitimate.

SECURITY GUARDS FOR OFFICE & COMMERCIAL SPACES

Unsafe office environments can result in lowered employee morale, dangerous situations, and loss of revenue. It is a pricey risk that businesses cannot afford to ignore. However, the presence of security guards will improve security by effectively deterring crime during business hours and after closing.

Security guards are professionally trained to handle any incidents of crime that occur, and Paladin Security’s highly trained guards are essential to your company’s crime prevention strategy.

Discover more about office safety and crime prevention to keep your business, your clients, and your staff safe:

How To Become Aware Of Your Own Intergenerational Trauma

How To Become Aware Of Your Own Intergenerational Trauma

Dr. Murray Bowen created an amazing tool to help us easily map various tendencies in our families, such as patterns in relationships, violence, health concerns, addiction, and trauma. It is kind of like a family tree, but you use it to map the different aspects of your family. In doing so, patterns are often highlighted.

Start with yourself, siblings, partner and children. From there you grow up – much the way you would with a family tree. It starts by looking something like this

Original Template: https://www.mywordtemplates.org/printables/template399.html

Once you have the foundation of all the people you are going to include, you get to add symbols for aspects you notice such as physical or mental health concerns, addictions, relationship dynamics, violence, trauma etc. You can make up your own symbols, or use the symbols suggested here: 

Source: https://www.edrawsoft.com/genogram/genogram-symbols.html

As you can see, you can make it as simple or complicated as you want. The interesting piece comes when you start to track the patterns. For example, you might see your grandfather struggled with working a lot and then your uncle also struggled with this. You might have a number of family members that have asthma and also have struggled with depression in their lives. You might notice there is conflict in relationships that threads throughout a certain area of your family. Perhaps immigration or social unrest (violence) impacts roles and relationships. Perhaps your grandmother played a big role as matriarch in your family and now your auntie or someone else has taken on that role.

Keep in mind, you might need to speak with a few relatives to get the stories of family from a generation or two ago. See if you can have an open mind to see the impact of one person’s experiences on the whole family system. If we step back and see the genogram as a map to a family system (as in Family Systems Therapy), it can open our eyes to how we are all connected through these stories and experiences. 

You will likely see changes through the generations. For example, if there was violence in the society or in a relationship in one generation (eg. physical violence) – there might be a different version of violence (eg. verbal violence) in another relationship or a form of coping in close by family members (eg. addiction). This is essentially a clear depiction of intergenerational trauma. 

Let’s say grandmother was exposed to violence in war growing up. Perhaps her parents (your great-grandparents) were so stressed by the violence they were verbally violent to each other and the children. Perhaps occasionally something was thrown or someone was hit due to the stress and exposure to violence. Let’s imagine the war was over and the pain of that war (trauma) and violence was so difficult one of the parents turned to alcohol to cope. Your grandmother saw the realities of alcohol and swore to never drink. She herself might have yelled at her own children and been quite strict, but this is what she knew and she never threw anything. Grandmother married a wonderful person, but they ended up struggling with depression and leaning on alcohol during stressful times. They yelled at your grandmother and the kids a lot. 

Now we have your father, who was raised in that environment. He has a healthy relationship with alcohol now, although he struggled a bit in his youth. On one or two occasions you saw him intoxicated, but this was rare. He has struggled on and off with depression yet he has found a way to channel his stress into work and fitness, albeit sometimes he does work too much. Your auntie, however, took the brunt of the verbal abuse in the home and had to care for the alcoholic parent. She now has a very strained relationship with alcohol, has depression and struggles to maintain healthy relationships. You notice a significant difference between you and your cousins. One of your cousins also has difficulties with their mood and has not found a healthy intimate relationship. You and your siblings, however, are in healthy stable relationships. 

There is no one to blame for the difficulties your cousins have. We may want to blame our auntie or the grandparent who struggled with alcohol – and yet we can’t do so accurately because these difficulties are not really their fault. Instead these difficulties are a result of ongoing, unresolved, unhealed trauma. Can we blame the great-grandparents? Can we blame the leaders who chose to engage in war? Leaders too are human and likely have their own experiences of trauma and healing in their family. Blame isn’t helpful or accurate and it doesn’t help us to untangle the mess. 

So what can we do…

I believe we can each do our part to heal one aspect of our family’s generational trauma. It might not be our choice to be born into it, and yet it is – I believe – our responsibility to heal one piece of it. We can become ‘change agents’ in our own families’ stories and see the power of change that can come from such transformations. Take note of the ongoing threads of trauma in your family and take note of the change agents. You might notice how the grandmother in the story I wrote, swore never to throw anything or drink alcohol. She was doing her part to be a change agent and heal one aspect of the trauma she experienced for the next generation. 

What is something you can do to become a ‘change agent’ in your family story?

Contributed by:

Kelsey Grimm

Website: www.kelseythecounsellor.com

Instagram: @kelseythecounsellor

 

New Businesses during COVID

New Businesses during COVID

Read all about New Businesses during COVID that opened in Downtown Kamloops.

He Brew’s Ahava Coffee Inc.

He Brews is a new bustling Café with meals situated at 210 Victoria Street, in downtown Kamloops. It is a family-owned organization, managed and directed by its owners, Indar and Janelle Seelal.

He Brew’s serves freshly roasted coffee beans, gourmet coffee/espresso, good meals, breakfast, lunch. In addition, the menu contains a variety of choices so everyone can find something they like, such as Sandwiches featured from around the world, Wraps, Fresh Salads, Soups made in house, Etc., 🥙🌯🫔

As people are becoming more interested in their health, wellness and spirituality, He Brew’s will provide a relaxing, Community-focused place, with good healthy food choices, where all people are welcomed to sit (on the patio for now), relax and enjoy the beauty of conversation.


Prickly Pear

Formerly known as The Big Boot Inn before rebranding, Prickly Pear has opened its doors in the downtown Kamloops community. The company has pivoted to a fashionable boutique that offers footwear to be envied and many additional stylish accessories. Similar to it’s previous store, quality will be of the most significant priority while still offering many shoe wear choices for special events and daily life. 🤩


Far & Wide

We also welcomed Far & Wide again on their larger storefront at 353 Victoria Street. Along with this new space, they have stocked up on new brands and treasures for you to discover. ❤️

“We will be bringing in new inventory from our current brands, introducing inspiring new brands and revamping our current local maker’s program to support them better,” said Duncan.

Far + Wide curates a trendy selection of brands and also sells work from local artisans to showcase an entire store full of unique gifts or a new feature for your home.

Cassidy Watt Artistry Collective

Perhaps new to Kamloops this business has its roots in Kelowna, Kamloops and the Okanagan’s as a premier hair and makeup styling team for weddings and events! From soft and natural bridal looks to sultry boudoir hair and makeup, Cassidy and her team is a full-service beauty authority available in the Okanagan Valley and across British Columbia!

“We are Cassidy Watt Artistry Collective, a brand-new storefront hair and makeup studio opening in the 100 block of Downtown Kamloops on May 1st, 2021! We got our start in the industry doing mobile hair and makeup styling appointments for weddings and events throughout the Okanagan area of British Columbia. Our team has quickly grown to include ten incredibly talented hair and makeup artists and we are excited to be expanding into a storefront location where our clients can get their hair and makeup done by us and shop some of our favourite retail products! We offer an array of services, including dry-bar hairstyling, makeup artistry, and hair and makeup lessons. We are so excited to be opening in Downtown Kamloops and hope to see you in our studio very soon!!” – Cassidy Watt

Frozen Paddle

Originally based out of Prince Geoge this craft ice creamery set its sight on charming Downtown Kamloops. Encouraged by the local movement of craft breweries across Canada in late 2014, Co-Founders Wes Pederson and Kevin Pederson looked to other industries that brought communities together and landed on ice cream. Meet Kevin Pederson – Founder(far right) and his wife, and Lisa Bajkov – Kamloops Operator (second from the left) with her husband at the grand opening.

Would you like to learn more about Downtown Kamloops, follow us on https://www.instagram.com/downtownkamloops/

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Anxiety During a Global Pandemic

Anxiety During a Global Pandemic

I was passing beside my colleague in the hallway today. I asked a typical ‘How is your day looking today?’ morning greeting.

‘It’s a bit of a heavy day today,’ She replied, honestly. ‘My clients today are really struggling.’ She paused for a moment. ‘So many of my clients are struggling right now,’ she shared with a heavy heart.

All I could do was offer her space and acknowledge the realities of our pandemic world. ‘It is hard right now, so many people are struggling.’

We talked about if someone has a slightly rocky foundation pre-covid, the whole foundation seems to be like an earthquake right now. Unsteady, unpredictable, unfamiliar, and unknown. It’s scary to not know how to make sense of one’s world.

Many people are experiencing higher than their “typical” levels of anxiety. My understanding is that there are a few significant contributing factors to this. Firstly, we are living in a world with constantly changing rules, regulations, and safety. Secondly, we aren’t able to care for ourselves in ways we typically would.

A great antidote to anxiety is routine, regularity, planning, and having a sense of control/safety over one’s own life. All those things have gone out the window in this pandemic!

We might have a semblance of routine, or have created a new routine. Perhaps we are even lucky enough to be able to still work in our place of work. However, so many things are still different. We are less able to plan into the future because the future is uncertain and having a sense of control or safety in the world changes from person to person and day-to-day. Our lives as we knew them pre-pandemic are incredibly different now, for the vast majority of us.

Additionally, we aren’t able to care for ourselves as we did pre-pandemic in terms of our social lives and hobbies. Perhaps we loved a certain pottery club, or a fitness space, or going to the movies, or traveling to see loved ones. Perhaps we loved having people over for dinner, going out for dinner, or going to the pool with ease. All the things we used to do with a sense of ease now come with restrictions, regulations, and barriers to access them.

Does it not make sense in an uncertain world, where we aren’t able to provide ourselves with the same levels of comfort we once did, that our anxiety is going to be higher? This is a perfect mix to increase anxiety.

So what do we do about it?

At present, I think it is important to acknowledge the difficulties and move towards accepting we will do the best we can and that is all we can do! We are living in uncertainty and if we look for certainty, we will likely cause more distress for ourselves and our internal systems.

Embrace the opportunity to change up your routine and engage with different activities.

Get creative and stretch your comfort zone!

Ensure you are connected to your trusted people either through outdoor walks, video calls, or the good old-fashioned phone call.

This is a time where we can band together and support each other so let’s do that.

Lastly, practice some self-compassion!

You have never done this before and most of our living world has not lived through a pandemic before. Let’s have compassion for ourselves, for our humanness, and let’s see the humanness in others.

We are all doing the best we can!

Contributed by:

Kelsey Grimm
Founder + Clinical Director
Healing Spaces Center
177 Victoria Street, Kamloops, BC
Website: www.healingspaces.center
Instagram: @healingspaces 

On Earth Day we are reminded that we have to #takecareoftheplanet

On Earth Day we are reminded that we have to #takecareoftheplanet

On Earth Day, we are reminded that we have to #takecareoftheplanet. It is a day to help individuals and organizations reduce their impact on the environment. Here are some businesses in Downtown doing their part!
 
 
“We love our refill station at Far & Wide. We carry Shampoo, Conditioner, Soaps, Cleaners and more, all you need is your own container! Far & Wide also carries environmentally-friendly bulk goods from The Unscented Company and Common Good. We choose to use paper over plastic bags but always encourage shoppers to bring their own bags when they visit. Many of our suppliers use environmental practices like compostable packaging and shipping materials and recycled & up-cycled products.”
 

Photo Credit: The Bench Kamloops

 
“Our goal is to help you reuse and upcycle your precious metal and gemstone jewellery at The Bench. We specialize in repairs that bring heirloom pieces back up to wearability! Your old or broken gold and platinum jewellery that is no longer used can be recycled into a fresh, custom-made piece that you’ll enjoy. Unused metals are ultimately refined and reused again from their pure form rather than wasted.
Diamonds and gemstones of all types can be reused in your new item of hand-crafted jewellery! We supply lab-grown diamonds and gemstones produced without the environmental impact of mined stones and ethically sourced natural stones.”

Photo Credit: Arwen’s Apparel

 
“At Arwen’s Apparel, we believe in living sustainably every day. We utilize refillable and reusable packaging, as well as offering products that are ethically made. Our specialty has always been quality clothes made with bamboo fabric. Bamboo is sustainable due to it being able to regenerate in just 55 days after harvest. Bamboo is also often planted to prevent soil erosion, and it can absorb up to 12 tons of carbon dioxide per hectare. These bamboo forests produce 30% more oxygen than a hardwood forest of similar size and require little irrigation and no pesticides. Happy Earth Day!!”

Photo Credit: Andre’s Electronics/ Hitfar

 
“We have a program with Hitfar of recycling all phone cases that are brought to us. Hitfar has also gone a step further and uses recycled phone cases and turns them into new phone cases known as the Pela series. These phone cases are made for almost every device made with recycled material such as phone cases. These phone cases if they don’t get recycled and disposed of, are made made of Flaxstic®, which is comprised of compostable bioplastic elastomer and flax straw materials.”

Photo Credit: Sam Chi Health

“At Sam Chi health, we believe in eco-friendly, safe, gentle, sustainable and environmentally safe products. Environize Anolyte Disinfectant for (Food Premises, Hospitals, Healthcare Facilities, Household, Institutions, Industrial) that uses Hypochlorous (HOCI) that is Health Canada Approved. It has so many uses and can replace hand sanitizers and bleach. There is also a hand and skincare line that protects and aids in your skin’s natural healing including refillable spray bottles and foggers for large areas to be cleaned including the air! Amongst our other alternative health solutions are our Chaga Mushrooms, which are Wild Harvested in Canada, Certified Organic by Ecocert- Lab Tested Safe – Health Canada Approved, are free from Pesticides and Heavy metals, eco-friendly, Fair Trade, sustainable and safe and can replace, coffee, tea, shampoo, soaps, hand and body care, essential oil, beard and massage oil blends, including skincare creams and balms made from hemp seeds. Happy Earth Day!”
It’s high time to act. Let’s take care of the planet. #TakeCareOfThePlanet
Kamloops Arts Council devoted to the development and enhancement of the arts

Kamloops Arts Council devoted to the development and enhancement of the arts

The Kamloops Arts Council (KAC) is a registered charitable organization devoted to the development and enhancement of the arts in the Kamloops area. We support all artists and art organizations and promote cooperation among them, government and business. We provide local artists and arts groups – visual artists, musicians, dancers, writers and actors – with opportunities for exposure, networking and professional development.

Kamloops Arts Council Rivertown Players 2020 MELODY DEVITT

KAC Mandate

As part of our mandate, the KAC takes the arts out to the community – producing high-quality, year-round low- and no-cost arts programs, performances, workshops and events for all. We believe the arts are for everyone and that they have the power to heal, transform, connect, and develop skills in children, youth, adults and seniors, including those in crisis. Art changes lives. Some of our programs include our Crossing Bridges Outreach program, our Rivertown Summer Theatre Group, our Children’s Arts Festival every fall, and our annual Art Exposed Regional Exhibition. You can find out more about these programs/events on our website at kamloopsarts.ca.

The Kamloops Arts Council has always been and will continue to be open, inclusive and welcoming of all artistic styles. We respect, encourage and support artists in all art forms and of all levels of experience. It is not our intent to dictate any particular set of artistic standards or values – those are for the artist to decide.

CAF 2019 DAVE SNIDER

KAC membership

KAC membership consists of individual members, group members and honorary members and includes amateur and professional artists, arts organizations, philanthropists and art admirers. The organization has more than 550 members, 9 Board directors, three full-time staff, two part-time contractors, and a seasonal theatre troupe. We employ local artists whenever possible.
Core funding is received from the provincial government through the BC Arts Council and from the City of Kamloops. The Kamloops Arts Council collects memberships, receives both unsolicited and solicited donations, and continually seeks funding for its various programs and events.

The Kamloops Arts Council is community-based and grassroots. The organization has always been and will continue to be a vital agency representing community artists while responding to their direct needs. Our purpose is to build a stronger cultural environment in which the arts, in all its forms, can develop, thrive and flourish.

Follow us on social media!
Facebook @KamloopsArts
Instagram @KamloopsArtsCouncil
Twitter @KamArtsCouncil

Contributed By:
Rebecca Kurtis
Kamloops Arts Council