Emergency preparedness plans aren’t created for “if” an emergency happens, but for “when” an emergency happens. Fortunately, the notion of a securely accessible emergency response planning system capable of adapting to a company’s every location, regulatory requirement, and plan type is within reach to many companies.
As the expectation level of instantaneous information grows, companies that do not embrace available technological advancements can be criticized as being stagnant. Increasingly available and more reliable technology has allowed companies to transition from seemingly archaic binder-based response plans to an all-inclusive web-based preparedness program.
Whether plans are mandated by corporate policy or regulatory agencies, a widely accessible emergency response plan can maximize efficiency and minimize impacts of an emergency on employees, the environment, and infrastructure. Until web-based preparedness programs became available, plan formats often varied from one facility to another, making it difficult to manage training, compliance efforts, and consistency of basic response procedures. Incorporating a definitive enterprise-wide emergency management system across an enterprise can maximize efforts, allowing for a streamlined and familiar response process.
As we begin 2014, companies are still striving boost efficiency, compliance, and budgets. By upgrading to a web-based emergency management system, companies can maximize preparedness and emergency management. Implementing a web-based planning system offers preparedness programs the following benefits:
When best practices are implemented, and training and exercises confirm effective response processes and procedures, response plans can be an effective tool for responders. However utilizing web-based, database-driven software allows registered users to swiftly and accurately identify confirmed response contacts, response procedures, and available resources, expediting the response and minimizing impacts.
Effective response plans require cyclical maintenance. As a result of changing personnel, fluctuating external response contacts, and revolving equipment availability and inventory levels, maintaining up-to-date and actionable response plans can be administratively time consuming.
The most advanced web-based software programs utilize a database, allowing for specific repetitive information to be duplicated in the various necessary plan types across an entire enterprise. By eliminating the need for duplicate updates and minimizing administratively tasking duties, plan changes are more likely to be transferred into the system, optimizing the accuracy of the plans and improving the likelihood of an effective response if an incident were to occur.
Accessibility of Plans
Increasing accessibility options while improving efficiency, functionality, and effectiveness can bolster an entire emergency management program. Web-based planning system software offers every option of instant accessibility: via the Internet, downloaded, or printed.
In the event of an emergency, identical duplicate paper plans are typically not available in various locations. If a location-specific incident renders company servers inaccessible, response plans housed on a company intranet may be inaccessible. Although the intranet approach has improved overall plan and preparedness accessibility, significant difficulties continue to include plan maintenance, version control, and consistency.
With web-based technology and an Internet connection, revised information is available to all approved stakeholders in “real-time”. Web based software eliminates “version confusion” and allows responders to apply the most up-to-date and tested processes to a response. Microsoft Word or PDF documents are often the culprit of “version confusion”. Multiple versions of paper-based and intranet-based plans can potentially confuse and misinform the response team(s), prolonging a response.
Web-based plans can provide hyperlinks, forms libraries, simplified interfaces, and other tools designed to improve streamlined functionality for plan users. Simplifying documentation during an incident enables prompt response progress, improved regulatory compliance, and a more accurate account of the response. Easy to follow response plans allow responders to carry out specified industry and company procedures in accordance with proven best practices responses.
The ability to duplicate common information minimizes administrative time (and ultimately costs) for managing response plans. Pending industry and regulatory compliance, companies typically utilize more than one response plan. Plan types may include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Business continuity plans
- Emergency response
- Incident action plans
- Fire pre-plans
- SPCC plans
- Severe weather or hurricane plans
- Crisis management plans
- Facility response plans
Web-based, database driven plans utilize one database to manage information. This function allows users to effectively duplicate common plan content and revision efforts to all plans and locations that utilize the similar data.
To request a demonstration on how Fortune 500 companies are utilizing web-based planning, click the image below to contact TRP Corp, a web-based response planning system industry leader.