Business real-time awareness during a disaster
| 08.07.2006 | 08:15:13 | Views: 2942 | ID:
August 7 '06: During a terrorist attack or a natural emergency, as government officials manage the crisis and first responders rush to the scene of the disaster, business owners are responding as well, taking stock of their employees' health and the safety of others around the immediate area. CIO detailed the disaster response of a business immediately following the attacks on July 7, 2005 when suicide bombers killed 52 people and critically injured more than 700.
Using a simple system of emails, text messages and phone calls (when able) Gale GFS was able to locate its employees and assess any damage to their business interests.Gale GFS' "Incident Reporting System, or IRS, which sends out email alerts to the cell phones, BlackBerrys, pagers and laptops of those concerned and also informs employees via a sort of Web chat room on their home-built company portal, helped spread the news of the unfolding crisis." The ability of the IRS to present real-time information to the employees allowed the company to continue running during the emergency in London while simultaneously assessing any asset damage and employee safety, CIO reported. And according to Jack Harrald, the director of the George Washington University Institute for Crisis, Disaster and Risk Management, "It's no just putting out fires; it's about staying in business, and one of the essential steps is tracking employees. Technology can help you do this." Gale GFA, a property management company whose clients include AT&T, GlaxoSmithKline, IBM and Toys "R" Us, said it began to develop its IRS after AT&T officials asked for a way to track its employees in the event of a major incident. The result was "an alternative to email, which can be an inefficient way to find employees during a crisis because it can create a tangle of messages that cross each other." IRS can "contact employees on multiple devices," to beef up the reliability of the system.
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