Ensure Control with Incident Management Software

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No one wants to be caught out in a crisis, and so many businesses and industries are using incident management software solutions before the incident, or potentially disastrous event, occurs.

Did you know that roughly 69% of businesses have experienced a crisis in the last five years? If these incidents, which could start on a small scale, are not managed promptly and efficiently, they could quickly escalate into an emergency or disaster, causing much physical and financial loss.

It is essential that the right people are notified that response times are reduced, and alert fatigue is avoided during critical incidents. Therefore, many industries have established incident management processes put in place before any incidents occur, as a preventative measure or as damage limitation.

The typical type of emergencies that could threaten disruption to your business could include:

  • Fire
  • Oil and other hazardous material spills 
  • Natural disasters including weather emergencies
  • Security issues (including local and national)
  • Medical emergencies
  • Power failures.

Preparing For An Emergency

Response planning and emergency management is the process of businesses managing their resources efficiently, whether its people, time, equipment, materials, and finances in the event of a disaster. These potential crisis situations can have derogatory effects on a company’s short and long-term reputation, financial performance, and overall longevity.

Incident Command Systems (ICS) was established in the 1970s, as a response to extreme wildfires in California, whereby all emergency services and multi-agencies involved in the crisis, collaborated to ensure the best outcome.

These multi-agency command and control procedures were established so that:

 ‘the combination of facilities, equipment, personnel, procedures and communications operating within a common organizational structure, designed to aid in the management of resources during incidents’ 

ICS and crisis management were the best approach during this wildfire crisis, and as a result, have become a universally held concept. Since that time, it has become common practice for businesses to manage the challenges they may face in a crisis themselves internally to ensure service is resumed quickly and successfully with as little disruption to their industry as possible. 

Effective Command Systems

Without effective command systems in place, an incident can easily disrupt or destroy business operations, sensitive information, IT systems, and affect employees and customers on a short or long-term basis.

Therefore, with the investment into streamlining and customizing ‘preparedness’ management computer software packages, businesses can minimalize the potential damage in an emergency.

It has thus been established that an effective crisis management software plan can help with:

  • Minimizing an adverse company profile
  • An accelerated conclusion of an incident
  • The reduction of disruption to business
  • Stabilizing financial loss.

There are established incident management software packages that ensure you and your business will never miss a critical alert. Database-driven, web-based planning systems can be used to deliver crisis management plan information for pre-chosen crisis management teams, or entire organizations.

Incident Management Software

For every type of site, potential hazard, and regulatory requirement, you’ll need a quality, accessible and accurate response planning software program. If you have a critical infrastructural industry with a variety of utilities, you’ll probably require a plan, respond, restore and report system all in one package, to streamline communication.

Arcos, for example, produce all-in-one technology for some of the largest organizations in the USA and Canada. They produce content management systems (CMS), donor/supporter databases, provide advocacy and viral marketing tools, email marketing, fundraising and donations, real-time reporting and analytics, community organizing, and social media tools.

Emergency response management software typically includes the following components:   

  • Detailed response checklists for the majority of emergency scenarios
  • Response personnel organization, roles, activation, and escalation procedures
  • Emergency Operations Center location, resources, and equipment 
  • Evacuation procedures
  • Notification procedures
  • Plan updating guidelines and responsibility
  • Documentation guidelines
  • Hyperlinked regulatory cross-references
  • Plan distribution list and Record of Changes
  • Facility aerial photos, plot plans, and other key facility information.

Incident management software is an advanced web-based program that utilizes a database to manage all plan information and allows for specific information to be replicated in some or all response plans across an entire organization. They help reduce administrative tasks, and planned responses are more likely to occur in a timely manner, reducing the negative consequences to your business.

The management software can usually be accessed from any location and is technologically intuitive, providing hyperlinks, libraries, simplified interfaces, reports, emails, and other tools for functionality. The management software can usually be customized for each individual customer with a variety of plan templates for various plan scenarios depending on their individual needs.

It is usually the practice for businesses to have a pre-crisis on-site assessment with the computer management software providers so that response gap plans can be evaluated, and audits can be carried out before the software is provided for each individual company. With a crisis management software package, you’ll find your company’s response planning is simplified and dramatically improved, ensuring peace of mind to everyone if an incident actually occurs.

The Planning Process

Simulation and testing are an essential part of the emergency and testing planning process at both the facility and corporate levels. Therefore, crisis management software programs can take this planning, facilitation, and evaluation out of your hands to ensure individual exercises in response scenarios are conducted for your workforce, by creating complex situations in:

  • Crisis management
  • Incident management
  • Tactical response
  • Business continuity
  • Oil spill/chemical release
  • Explosion/fire
  • Civil unrest and other security matters
  • Natural disasters
  • Pandemic

This ensures everyone from the ground floor to the corporate levels, are ready and knowledgeable if an incident should occur. Everyone knows their part, what they should do, and the command of control chains.

Incident management software is an end-to-end solution that therefore responds to, reports on, and investigates any potential digital or potential crisis to industry towards an incident resolution.

The software can alert staff of the incident, generates a report of the issue, and automates a workflow that ensures the incident is responded to in the correct pre-arranged sequence. The incident management software can give critical information to the right people, allowing for faster response time.

There are many different incident management software programs in the marketplace, and depending on what you want the software to do, it can save you vast amounts of time, effort, and money.

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