During the past several months of shutdown due to COVID-19, business and corporate leaders have been forced to take a long, hard look at their processes for keeping employees, customers, and business partners safe when normal operations resume.
While some businesses have now reopened, quite a few are continuing to reassess and make adjustments to their emergency management plans and processes. Obviously, the greatest changes related to health and safety for businesses have to do with the coronavirus threat. What hasn’t changed is the need to respond effectively in the event of an unexpected crisis from natural or human-caused disasters or other critical incidents.
In all of these cases, the goal is the same – to protect people’s health and safety, mitigate or lessen damage to facilities or property, minimize costly disruptions to business operations, and protect brand reputation.
In an emergency every second counts and a quick, effective response can save lives. Not only that, studies have shown that the faster the response, the less costly a crisis is in terms of disruption to business operations. This is a real concern, as a Gartner study found that even a minor disruption to operations – for example, a power outage or other facility infrastructure incident – can cost a business more than $336,000 per hour.
Many business leaders have admitted, even before the pandemic, that they did not have a sufficient emergency management platform or adequate processes in place to respond effectively and make the quick, crucial decisions necessary during a crisis or disaster. There’s no better time than now, as businesses return to full and “normal” operations, to take a detailed evaluation of these processes and review strengths and weaknesses.
When a crisis occurs, an effective response requires up-to-the-minute situational awareness across all business locations so the organization’s leadership and emergency managers can make informed decisions and react quickly. They also need to be able to communicate with everyone who could be affected by a critical incident and to collaborate with all stakeholders or first responders.
Returning to the workplace, businesses specifically need the ability to:
- Create specific rapid-response workflows and processes to protect the organization
- Maintain real-time access to all critical data and information during an emergency
- Create a clear procedure for contact tracing and case management of COVID cases or other health threats
- Maintain complete situational awareness of all employees and locations
What’s not effective is having a plan or a technology platform that doesn’t have the specific workflows and capabilities you need to respond in a certain type of emergency; or when the unexpected happens, not knowing how to use the technology you have. That’s why it’s also important to have an emergency management platform that is used on a day-to-day basis for any type of incident no matter how insignificant it may seem at the time. This allows users to be familiar with the system and know exactly what to do when a significant crisis occurs.
Emergency management platforms, like WebEOC, help businesses and organizations plan and do the right things at the right time and provide capabilities that help with actions such as:
- Facility Status Tracking
- Incident Action Plans
- Fast and Effective Communication
- Event Management and Monitoring
- Incident Tracking and Reporting
- Collaboration with different departments
As you can see, there are many things to consider when it comes to keeping your employees, customers, and business partners safe. And it also behooves business leaders to find ways to minimize business downtime, ensure safety of workplaces and facilities, and to protect the business’s brand reputation.
To learn more about how to assess your capabilities and processes in order to return to business operations safely, download our free guide: 7 Steps to Ensure a Safe Return to Business Operations.
From there, if you’d like to talk with a product specialist about your current processes and tools, click here.