6 Benefits of Moving Your Emergency Action Plan from Binders to Mobile
When a crisis strikes, an emergency action plan can be all that stands between a timely, orderly response and chaos. When it comes to your own plan, how prepared is your organization for the myriad of threats it faces?
Considering that nearly two-thirds of organizations report having activated their emergency communications protocols at least once in the previous year, it’s clearly important to have an actionable, up-to-date plan. Faced with a growing number of potential threats, it’s no wonder that many organizations are moving away from the traditional, hard-copy methods of emergency planning to a more advanced, technologically-savvy approach, using mobile apps as a key component for housing, updating and distributing their plans.
Before the next crisis hits, now is the time to ask yourself if your own organization would benefit from doing the same. To guide your decision, let’s take a look at some of the key benefits of moving your emergency action plan from binders to a mobile app:
In today’s highly connected world, leveraging mobile technology for emergency response simply makes sense. The people in your organization most likely take their smartphones or tablets nearly everywhere they go. During an emergency, these devices are the first place they will look for information—making them an ideal fit for crisis planning.
2) Improved accessibility
While hard-copy emergency plans are often stored in one or two central places, mobile apps put this key information into the hands of your employees. They no longer have to reference centralized plans when an emergency strikes; instead, they simply pull out their mobile device and open the app. They instantly have access to the most up-to-date plan information, no matter where they are at the moment the crisis hits. This improved accessibility saves valuable time during an emergency, which can help to minimize damage to your business and even prevent injury and death.
In addition, apps can even allow end users to download crisis plans directly to their devices, which provides anytime access, even when cell service or internet access has failed.
Mobile apps are on the cutting edge of consumer technology, and ease-of-use is always a priority. Emergency planning apps are no different: The most effective services are designed to be extremely easy to use, even during the fast-paced and panicked moments of a crisis.
Your organization would be best served by a mobile app that also allows for easy administration. Look for a solution with a simple user and admin interface that enables simple updates and changes, such as the addition of maps, GPS functionality, notifications and alerts, and other features.
4) Streamlined communication
When you rely on binders for emergency planning, crisis communication is usually done through manual call trees, website notifications or email. These methods can be slow and ineffective since they do not account for employees who are away from their desks or out in the field when a crisis strikes.
Mobile apps streamline communications by pushing alerts and notifications directly to each user’s mobile device. You can send notifications when an emergency begins, then update stakeholders with alerts as the crisis unfolds. You can even supplement these updates with emails, since using multiple paths of communication helps to ensure a higher rate of success than a single communication method alone.
When your employees have the most relevant, up-to-date information, they can react accordingly. This helps to minimize the time it takes for your organization to return to normalcy, while also preventing injury, accidents and even death.
Mobile emergency apps are also highly customizable. Administrators can decide which features, icons, files and other tools appear on users’ dashboards. During an emergency, this helps end users to quickly find the most relevant features, without being distracted by icons or files that they never use.
Your admins can even customize the app with your organization’s unique brand, which lends legitimacy to the app and can provide a sense of reassurance during an emergency.
6) Tighter security
Hard-copy emergency plans fall short when it comes to security. After all, a binder could easily be stolen, lost or damaged, compromising your organization’s entire emergency plan.
Using a mobile app ensures that your emergency plans are always secure. Since data is stored on highly secure remote servers, with built-in redundancy, you can rest assured that it will never be stolen, lost or damaged.
In addition, mobile emergency planning apps enable administrators to customize access rights. For example, this would allow your organization to grant access only to authenticated users with the correct PIN or access code. You can even establish which authorized users can access specific data. Mobile apps also allow you to make certain emergency information available to the public, which can be useful during certain crises.
Is your organization’s emergency action plan still housed in hard-copy binders? When do you plan to update your plan to improve access and streamline the revision process?