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Blog > Emergency Management   4 min read

How to Speed Up Emergency Response Times in Your Facility

by iLobby
June 5, 2023

According to FEMA, 25% of businesses close completely after a disaster. Larger enterprises tend to survive, but they definitely feel the social and financial impact of fallout from an emergency event. Audits, damages, injuries, lawsuits, and public perception can have long-lasting effects on an organization.  

Slow emergency management and response allow these effects to compound. Companies are less able to respond, slowing down evacuations and limiting the capability to monitor and improve processes.   

While you can blame the inability to recover on the severity of the disaster, slow emergency management is also to blame.  

You need to speed up your emergency management system to save lives and property. Below, we discuss what could be slowing down your response to disasters and how to speed up your response process. 

Why Your Emergency Management Is Too Slow 

Inefficient communication channels 

Delayed communication can hinder the coordination of emergency response efforts, leading to confusion and delay. Communication barriers usually arise when you're relying on manual emergency communication systems. 

Upgrading to an automated emergency management solution allows users to provide people with essential details at the touch of a button. Communicate evacuation routes and muser point locations to contractors and visitors, and run digital roll calls for rapid headcounts.  

Lack of training and drills 

Your employees and emergency response team will be indifferent to emergency management if you don't organize regular training and drills. Without proper training, they will not know what to do in an emergency situation. They won’t know the protocol to follow or who to alert when an emergency occurs.Why Your Emergency Management Response is Slow: Lack of training and drills

Insufficient resources 

You will face delays during an emergency if you lack resources. Resources can be personnel to provide medical services, medical supplies, equipment, and anything else necessary to manage the emergency. Inadequate leadership support will also impede fast emergency management. 

Insufficient or Disorganized Data 

High-performance emergency response is built on data. Collecting historical data on evacuation times creates a baseline for ongoing improvements. Detailed data, such as areas or individuals that take longer to evacuate make it easy to identify where improvements are most needed.   

By employing emergency solutions that provide powerful insights and easy reporting, companies can create, implement, and track better emergency plans. 

Why Acting Fast Is Vital During All Types of Emergencies 

Fast emergency response: 

Save lives: When emergencies like natural disasters occur, acting quickly can prevent the loss of lives. For instance, when you use systems like VisitorOS, even facility visitors will know where to go. The system minimizes the risk that they will be caught up in the wrong places. 

Protects assets: Fast response times help you protect your property and other assets from destruction. For example, quickly alerting firefighters of a blaze will help contain the fire and prevent further damage to your facility. 

Minimizes disruption: Rapid emergency management shortens downtime. Your business can resume operations in a shorter time frame.  

Preserves the environment: Speedy containment and mitigation of hazards, like chemical spills or fires, prevents environmental harm. The containment plan helps ensure the disaster doesn't become a public emergency incident. 

How To Speed Up Emergency Response Plans 

There's no one-size-fits-all solution for speeding up your emergency response plans. However, the following tips can help you ensure faster evacuation and minimize loss: 

Have your employees attend regular training and conduct drills 

Emergency management training prepares your employees and the emergency response personnel to respond appropriately during a disaster. They will know the protocol to follow during emergencies, where to evacuate, and who to contact for help. 

For instance, the internal response team will know which volunteer organizations and local emergency disaster agencies to contact in case of an emergency incident. The more familiar they are with the emergency plan, the faster they will respond. 

Regular drills also reduce uncertainty and panic in real disasters like severe weather emergencies. During these drills, employees learn to communicate with key personnel, like emergency management directors. The drills are an opportunity to identify any areas that need improvement. 

Set goals and plans in place that are clear and easy to understand 

During an emergency, staff and visitors are more likely to follow your disaster plan if it is clear. Review your emergency response plan to ensure it is straightforward and well-structured. Incorporate clear, easy-to-follow steps and assign specific responsibilities to personnel so everyone knows their role during an emergency.  

Use an automated workplace emergency procedure 

Digitizing emergency management speeds up response times in many ways. For instance, an automated system will help you notify all persons about an emergency. With this system, you can give them the essential details, including evacuation routes. 

An automated system also speeds up your roll calls at the mustering point. When the check-in process at the mustering point is automated, it will be easy to get a head count so your safety officer knows whom to track down. 

An emergency management system also allows you to adapt evacuation routes in real-time. Hazards like gas leaks can block escape routes or mustering points. With the right automation tool, your emergency response team can send notifications asking people to head to a different muster point and use other routes. 

Go over the results of your emergency drills to find weak spots 

Assessing your emergency response plan is essential if you are looking to make it faster. After conducting drills, ask questions like what went wrong? Which processes took the longest? How can we improve these steps? 

Evaluating drill result is critical to identifying weaknesses in emergency response plansEvaluating the results of your drills is critical to identifying weaknesses in your emergency response plans. Reflect on each drill's outcomes and gather feedback from your staff. Take concrete steps to address any identified issues and refine your response plans. 

Utilize the Right Technology to Speed Up Your Emergency Management Activities 

Emergency management technology is an essential tool for improving the speed of your emergency management. EmergencyOS, iLobby's cloud-based emergency management software, is one such technology that speeds up your evacuation. 

It integrates with the iLobby facility and visitor management systems to help you notify and evacuate everyone faster. The software also makes it easy to provide visitors with crucial safety information so they know what to do in an emergency. 

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iLobby is the global leader in facility and visitor management for complex enterprises and regulated industries. Deployed across more than 6,000 sites worldwide, iLobby’s FacilityOS platform powers complex work environments by optimizing and automating key facility processes to achieve regulatory compliance, enforce safety protocols, and drive site security requirements.

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