How often does your organization have to respond to an emergency?
If you are close to the average for all organizations, research says that the chances are good your team has to respond to at least two critical-level events – that’s emergencies – every year, along with many less-critical unplanned events. Of course, some types of organizations, and some locations, may be at an elevated risk for emergencies, and others may be at a reduced risk. But consider this: there is a wide range of potential ‘critical events’ that can happen anywhere, including:
- a lockdown, triggered either internally or by nearby external events
- a fire, chemical spill, or other serious incident
- an intrusion or hacking of the enterprise networks
- a natural event such as a tornado, flood, or earthquake
- a medical emergency
Any of these events can occur without warning, become a business issue with potentially significant impact, and pull your team into a crisis mode. Many businesses have security systems that are intended to maintain a safe environment for staff, customers, and visitors alike, such as access control systems, video surveillance, visitor management, and more. Unfortunately, these traditional business systems are generally designed to stand alone, and support well-defined routine processes. Because of this, not only do they become less useful when events go sideways, but they are not equipped to provide guidance or coordination just when the organization and the situation needs them the most.
Organizations need a reliable, effective means to coordinate their response to unplanned events. Fortunately, the InSite™ Event Response Management solution was specifically designed to integrate with all existing security systems and combine “system intelligence” with “human intelligence” to support a strong, coordinated response to emergency situations in accordance with each organization’s security and HR policies.
Factors to Consider
When considering a potential upgrade to organizational safety and security in the form of an emergency response system, what factors should be considered? Here are some suggestions to begin the process – and as always, please feel free to contact us directly for a no-obligation evaluation of your situation.
- Comprehensive Integrations
To successfully respond to critical events, any emergency response system must be integrated with every available system to gather information and inputs, as well as to provide notifications, guidance, and information to the staff as part of the response. Therefore, it is vitally important to make sure any system being considered has a wide – and current – range of suitable system integrations. The very best response management systems make use of open-architecture frameworks to accommodate virtually any security or business intelligence application with comprehensive functionality.
For an example of how InSite makes use of system integrations, see our Natural Disaster Use Case
- Connection to Your People
The best response management systems incorporate inputs from staff and have comprehensive communications built in to make sure that the right people get the messages they need in an emergency. Look for the inclusion of apps that reside on staff tablets and phones, and make sure they can be tailored to match the needs of the organization, and they are easy to understand and use. It is also important that the system can distribute trusted information and direction to internal personnel, external support personnel, and other stakeholders. The best response management systems allow you to activate your best sensors, your people.
For an example of how InSite supports human intelligence, see our Lockdown Use Case
- Alignment with Policies
Any emergency response system should also be capable of incorporating the policies and procedures of the organization, so that in an emergency, responding staff can be confident that their actions are in line with those policies. As an example, consider what response is appropriate if someone in the organization has a medical emergency. Is emergency contact information readily available? Who should make contact, and what information is appropriate? What information should be shared with other staff? These, and many more questions, can be pre-programmed into the best response management systems so that in an emergency situation, the correct information and actions can be taken quickly.
For an example of how InSite supports HR policies, see our Health Risk Use Case
- Auditable Records
Of course, any critical event can have lasting repercussions, ranging from training to confirming that correct actions were taken. Any response management solution should capture and retain sufficient auditable records to provide a clear picture of the situation as it developed, the actions taken, and what information was provided to whom, in case it is needed for confirmation, investigations, or other important uses.
For an example of how InSite can maintain important records, see our Facility Fire Use Case
Implementing a powerful, comprehensive response management system can prepare any organization for a better response in the event of a serious emergency – but it can also pay off when responding to the many smaller events that happen more frequently. In addition, response coordination systems can capture a wealth of information on a daily basis that can be used to improve operational efficiency and help management staff notice developing situations that can be managed before they grow into larger, more costly problems.
Choose wisely! Contact us for a no-obligation, no-cost evaluation of your situation.