With improved access to the Internet readily available, Incident Management Systems can be designed and used to expeditiously facilitate emergency management and response through the use of interactive database-driven interfaces and real-time situational displays.
A concerted effort is being made in the emergency preparedness industry for companies to embrace new technologies and apply them to their environmental, health and safety practices. The ability to transfer real-time incident information among company decision makers and the emergency services community, particularly first responders who need rapid information for situational assessments, allows for a faster, more organized response.
As we have seen in recent years, disasters and incidents, whether man-made or natural, can disrupt and even permanently dismantle normal business operations. Improving reactive decision management, timeliness of an ongoing response, and swift implementation of recovery strategies can limit resulting effects of any emergency situation.
“One of our assumptions has been that when there's a big disaster, we lose all communications, we lose all wireless.", said FEMA administrator Craig Fugate in an Information Week article. "Haiti was sort of a validation that that's no longer the case.”
Providing a instantaneous method of emergency situational awareness provides:
- a means to determine the deployment of resources in order to prevent duplication of efforts
- a means to aggregate data into a format that enables real-time analysis and decision making to ensure the most efficient and effective emergency response
Companies that are required to maintain emergency response plans for regulatory purposes should also consider the use of web-based response plans that are integrated with real-time incident management systems in order to maximize their emergency response efforts. The cost of implementing a new incident management system to incorporate these technologies can easily be offset by the minimization of disaster consequences on the facilities, the environment, and human lives.
For tips and best practices on designing a crisis management program, download Best Practices for Crisis Management.