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Blog > Emergency Management   5 min read

How to Track Employees & Visitors During an Evacuation

April 12, 2023

In an emergency, accurately tracking employees and visitors is essential. Evacuation tracking and monitoring software provide real-time oversight across all locations. Knowing who is in a building and monitoring who has checked into muster points, paired with two-way communications that enable people to mark themselves as off-site or in need of assistance, improves the speed and capability of your emergency response.  

After an evacuation drill or emergency, tracking employees and visitors is just as important. Evacuation details, down to specific individuals, from initiation to muster point check-in, are automatically collected and stored, allowing organizations to monitor and improve their emergency preparedness and response continuously. This article discusses the benefits of tracking building occupants and how to incorporate it into emergency management. 

tracking employees during evacuations

The Benefits of Tracking Building Occupants in an Emergency 

Having a visitor management system in place is essential for any commercial building. It enhances safety, response, and ongoing improvements with real-time and logged data that tracks visitors, contractors, and employees. But what are the benefits of this system when it comes to emergencies? 

Faster Evacuations 

In an emergency, quickly tracking occupants and sending notifications is paramount. An employee evacuation tracking system identifies who is in the building, their location, and who is missing. This information helps send real-time alerts or text messages for evacuation. It also enables emergency management teams to respond faster and more efficiently. iLobby digitizes emergency management, enhancing fast evacuations. Increasing evacuation speed and efficiency protects life and safety while minimizing damage to property and compliance risks.  

Collaboration and coordination are essential for successful emergency preparedness and response. Tracking building occupants can provide critical information about potential emergencies. It enables the organization to identify who is in danger for fast response. It also allows emergency personnel to deploy resources, reduce response times, and improve the safety of occupants. 

improving communications

Improved Communication 

Knowledge gained from tracking building occupants is useful for communication purposes. For example, automated notifications allow organizations to alert building occupants of incidents and provide them with important information on routes and muster points. It ensures everyone is aware of the crisis and takes necessary precautions. During an evacuation, two-way communications can be sent, prompting responses indicating the status of the visitor, for example: 

  • Safe 
  • Out of office 
  • Require Assistance 

Tracking building employees and visitors also facilitates effective communication between the organization and emergency personnel. It provides real-time updates to safety officers, allowing them to make informed decisions and respond quickly to disasters. Furthermore, it eliminates the need for manual tracking and paperwork of building occupants, improving emergency response efficiency. 

Identifying Those in Need of Assistance 

Identifying those needing help is among the main benefits of tracking building occupants in an emergency. In an emergency, it is vital to identify who requires aid, such as those with special needs or medical issues, to ensure swift assistance. This allows the responders to focus on those who need immediate help while following established emergency response plans.

emergency employee tracking quote

After an evacuation drill, reviewing data on who required assistance and why empowers emergency planning. You can determine what steps or precautions must be put in place to prevent this from occurring in future drills – or worse yet, in an emergency. For example, uncovering accessibility concerns for emergency routes, like adding a wheelchair ramp or assigning someone to assist the individual automatically.  

By using occupant-tracking technology, emergency personnel have access to a wealth of information that can help them prioritize assistance and ensure everyone is safely evacuated. It allows for quick and efficient identification of those needing assistance, increasing the effectiveness of emergency response teams.   

Three Steps for Tracking Visitors and Staff in an Emergency 

The right practices are critical to protecting visitors and staff during hazards. Tracking them plays a key role in maintaining safety and security. Let's look at the steps you should take to keep everyone safe in your facility during emergencies. 

Emergency communication software

Send Alerts via Your Emergency Notification System 

The first step in tracking visitors and employees in an emergency is to send alerts through your emergency notification system. Adding extra communication channels, such as SMS, helps ensure everyone is notified and informed. You can even provide details like evacuation routes and mustering locations to contractors and visitors who need to familiarize themselves with emergency procedures.   

An effective emergency notification system should be pre-defined and tested before any crisis occurs. Your emergency notification system should include the following:   

  • A plan outlining who is responsible for sending alerts, when they should be sent, and what type of message. Fortunately, iLobby automates emergency management processes that can be complex to perform manually for a real emergency.  
  • The information needs to reach all facility occupants as intended through clear and comprehensive communication channels. 
  • Written emergency plans that detail specific protocols for responding to an emergency, including emergency evacuation procedures and contact information. 

emergency communication solutions article

Provide Instructions on Important Actions To Take and Evacuation Routes 

Instructing visitors and staff on the appropriate action to take during a crisis is crucial. Effective emergency systems should have procedures and instructions on evacuation routes. Instructions should be clear and easy to understand, ensuring visitors and employees know how to respond. It is also essential to provide detailed plans and information on the recovery process, including steps taken during the emergency and instructions to return to normal operations. 

Use Automated Roll Call Technology 

Ensuring the safety of your building occupants is paramount at all times, particularly during emergencies. Automated roll call technology streamlines headcounts during an evacuation.   

iLobby's evacuation and emergency management solution digitizes processes at all four phases of emergency management. The emergency response software is designed to automate a roll call after an incident, so clipboard-toting safety officers are no longer overwhelmed trying to track everyone down manually.   

Incorporate EmergencyOS into Your Emergency Planning Strategy  

When an emergency arises, the right tracking systems and steps are critical. Tracking building occupants enables quick and efficient evacuations while providing detailed information to emergency responders. By using automated roll call technology, you can easily track visitors and staff during an emergency and ensure the safety of everyone in your facility. 

EmergencyOS provides quick and accurate visitor tracking capabilities, identifying who is in a facility, and their status. It enables businesses to send automated notifications for evacuation, ensuring that building occupants know the necessary precautions. Additionally, the system facilitates communication between the organization and emergency personnel — allowing them to make real-time informed decisions. Book a demo today to learn more about how our visitor management system streamlines emergency preparedness and response.  

Jeff Gladwish

Jeff Gladwish is the Chief Revenue Officer at iLobby where he spearheads the go-to-market strategy, driving the growth and adoption of our Facility and Visitor Management solutions. In 2023, Jeff was named one of Influitive’s Fearless 50 Customer-Led Marketing Leaders, an award that recognizes executives pushing the boundaries of customer marketing, advocacy, community, and loyalty.

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