Emergency preparedness is the preparation and planning necessary to structure the decision-making process during an emergency. For some, emergency preparedness is a practical response to naturally-occurring events such as fire, earthquake, landslides, flooding or storm surge, power outages, or tornadoes. For others, it may be an on-site response to elevator or other major premise equipment malfunction, a destructive computer virus or a hazardous materials spill. In some rare cases, an emergency preparedness plan may cover serious workplace violence, a medical emergency or a bomb threat. In any of these cases, facilities managers are tasked with facing the likelihood of difficult security and safety challenges on their premises.

To overcome any of these cases with a high likelihood of success and minimal impact to both human and physical assets, facilities managers must be prepared to help staff members, tenants, employees and vendor partners to respond quickly and with purpose.

At present, there are a number of software solutions that help facilities managers prepare for and prevail over emergency situations. A comprehensive emergency preparedness software package helps the facilities manager gather and manage a great deal of information – so that when a disaster strikes, the proper information is readily available to help them respond.

Some emergency preparedness software packages may include templates that are scalable to any size system or organization. These templates may include customizable emergency solutions for natural disaster recovery, emergency response, evacuation planning, on-site shelter preparation, and communication solutions for any eventuality.

The goal of any of these emergency preparedness software solutions is to facilitate emergency situation preparation. The mobilization of emergency services, mitigation of losses and damage, speedy and effective response, and recovery from any damages is the ideal outcome.

Common emergency preparedness measures found in these software solutions may also include assistance with the following:

• Emergency facility or communications contingency planning
• How to create and provide warnings or notifications of pending or existing emergencies
• Development of staging sites and evacuation plans (site-wide or company-wide)
• Chain of communication and control planning (making decisions, identifying situational priorities)
• Inventory and maintenance schedules for on-site shelter stockpiles, power equipment
• Identification of immediate outside aid facilities (hospitals, fire and rescue)
• Identification of outside food, water and shelter resources
• Identification of key civilian resources (busses, dump trucks, hardware suppliers)
• Coordination with outside assistance from vendor partners
• The use of dynamic data for situational awareness (camera feeds, maps, weather and traffic reports)
• Training schedules for testing preparedness
• How to analyze and prepare for consequences and losses

Although there are a number of emergency preparedness software applications, few are tailored to the specific needs of the facilities manager. The PropertyTrak facilities maintenance program by AirMass is designed to address all aspects of facilities management and emergency preparedness.

In the event of an emergency situation, the PropertyTrak technology can help inform management to the situation via multiple communications devices. This allows access to emergency preparedness and response information from cell phones, personal computers, laptops, and tablet devices. Facilities managers and staff are, therefore, in constant contact with action plans and emergency response teams.

To learn more about leading technology advancements aimed at enhancing the safety of a facility and related facilities management topics, read the monthly blog articles here at PropertyTrak by AirMass.