Every business should have procedures in place for handling a disaster. These include data recovery, continuity of operations, and emergency call trees to ensure every employee is notified. But for workers tasked with moving around town in business vehicles all day, disaster preparedness takes on an entirely different meaning.
Several tools are available that can help a business’s mobile service workers. These tools should be tested during non-emergencies to ensure they will work when they’re most needed.
Get the word out
Many large organizations maintain an updated emergency call tree at all times. This tree allows each supervisor to reach his or her employees at home if a disaster immobilizes the area in which they live and work. Apps like DialMyCalls automates the process, allowing an organization to send one voice or text message to as many as 200,000 employees at once. One Call Now is another app that will blast notifications via phone, SMS text, and e-mail.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) offers a smartphone app as a way of helping keep people and businesses prepared for a disaster. The app includes disaster safety tips, an interactive emergency kit list, emergency meeting location information, and a map with shelters and FEMA Disaster Recovery Centers that are currently open. The app also has a reporting feature that allows disaster victims to upload GPS photos to be displayed on a map that other users of the app can view.
Know how to respond to a medical crisis
After the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, American Dan Woolley found himself trapped under the rubble in a hotel. By following the American Heart Association’s Pocket First Aid & CPR app, he was able to stop the bleeding and keep himself alive for 65 hours, when rescuers were finally able to get to him. The app can walk a user through the steps of performing CPR, administering first aid to others, and more, using videos and step-by-step instructional guides.
If you’re not sure how prepared your organization is, the American Red Cross has created the American Red Cross Ready RatingTM program to help evaluate the processes and procedures you have in place and offer ways of improving.
Mobile service workers need procedures in place long before a disaster happens to ensure they’re well prepared. Those procedures should be regularly tested by all of a business’s staff, both mobile and office-based.