At the centre of any emergency response situation is the ability of risk and safety managers to communicate instantly and effectively. With so many critical communication solutions on the market today, choosing one that best suits a given organisation can be difficult.
Jeremy Sharp, Director of ADTEC Communications, says that risk and safety management need to consider these factors:
- A guaranteed mechanism that kick-starts a conference call as soon as an emergency hits - Emergencies are by nature unexpected events, requiring people to respond on-the-fly. If your communication solution has no mechanism in place to guarantee kick-starting a conference call as soon as an emergency hits, the response team will have no co-ordinated effort to counter any of the problems at hand.
- SMS broadcasting capability - A simple and effective way of activating an emergency response is via SMS broadcasting. A pin number initiates the response and the message is sent to all team members.
- Voice page broadcasting capability - A voice page assembles emergency teams together in a few minutes. When activated it automatically notifies all appropriate personnel. This eliminates the need to have an individual make multiple phone calls.
- The ability to notify all stakeholders irrespective of their location - Consider whether the solution needs to offer mobility. As members of an emergency team are rarely found in one, fixed location the solution will more than likely need to include the use of multiple networks and allow communication across different handheld devices.
- Monitoring events in real-time - The ability of the solution to monitor events in real-time is fundamental. Members of an emergency response team require communication capability between each other and a central base.
- Post-event analysis - Post-analysis of a response to an emergency situation is critical in improving planning, response and recovery. An effective solution should be able to record all voice traffic on the system. It should also have a readable log of all events that have taken place.
- Ensure your Disaster Recovery plan is simple and easy to implement - Your system should be quick and easy to implement. Needless to say, it should be regularly practiced, checked and trialled in mock emergency situations.
- Ensure your solution can be initiated from anywhere and by any team member - For maximum flexibility and success in an emergency situation, ensure that your chosen solution can be initiated by any member of the team regardless of their location.
- Ensuring the safety of a solo employee at a remote site - Does your chosen solution need to take into account staff that work alone and or remotely?