From natural disasters, such as wildfires and hurricanes, to security incidents like bomb threats, organizations need an emergency preparedness plan in place to protect its most valuable assets – its people. With many organizations operating with a globally dispersed workforce, having an effective preparedness plan is often a significant challenge. However, outdated emergency plans can be re-evaluated and reinvigorated with the integration of advanced technologies, to keep pace with today’s dynamic workforce.
“An organization’s most important asset is its people, and when disaster strikes, most organizations take their duty of care responsibilities seriously,” said Tom Hopkins, Director of Special Missions Solutions at Raytheon Intelligence, Information and Services. Hopkins told us that many organizations still rely on databases that hold contact information for each employee, yet in an emergency, he warns, “these legacy methods cannot provide accurate, timely situational awareness of human capital.”
When an event occurs, the top priority is to connect with all employees and ensure that everyone is accounted for and safe. Relying on managers to check in with individual employees by phone or email across time zones is cumbersome and could take days, especially if employees are in remote locations. But with advances in technology, these legacy emergency preparedness systems can be retired in favor of an advanced mobile emergency response solution that shortens the time to respond and provides real-time awareness of employees’ whereabouts.
Commercial organizations that manage global workforces are now looking to solutions used by local, state, and federal government emergency response teams. These robust solutions can now help the commercial sector communicate with employees in dispersed and remote environments.
Building on their decades of experience developing secure, global communications systems for government and defense, Raytheon has optimized a solution for commercial use via an app that leverages iOS and Android smart phone platforms. The application is hosted in a controlled and secure infrastructure, ensuring data integrity and accurate situational awareness.
“Our solution addresses an organization’s need to have a real-time awareness of employee safety during times of emergency,” Hopkins said. “NexGenTrac provides an organization with immediate feedback of employee status and can also be configured to allow team members to quickly locate and communicate with each other.”
“Management can geofence a specific area, which is as simple as drawing a circle on a map around an affected city, region or area, and ‘pulse’ all of their employees within that area for their status,” Hopkins continued. “Our experience has shown this oftentimes provides unexpected results…capturing an immediate, accurate picture of employee status and location within a certain area, including those who might be transiting the area, or even vacationing.”
With privacy concerns at an all-time high, Hopkins stressed that privacy and security were primary considerations in the development of the solution, and the data is hosted in a controlled, secured environment. The application is also configurable, allowing the user to control location settings to protect user privacy so they do not feel “tracked,” Hopkins explained. “The app still allows for real-time communications and accountability in the event of an emergency. This provides the right balance between privacy and accountability and creates a safer operating environment.”