A laminated flip chart hanging on the wall was always seen as the standard for providing emergency response information to staff and visitor. They served as silent sentinels guarding the office and classrooms from doom.
But the reality is that these tools were rarely utilized during an event and frequently quickly became outdated with old information. They also didn’t provide much help to the visually impaired or the non-English reader. Updating the phone numbers or evacuation routes would required a total recall of the existing guides and printing of entirely new materials. Not to mention the costs of constantly printing new guides.
Being responsive to new threats was difficult and the ability to search the guide was based entirely on the users abilty to speed read during an actual emergency.
Fortunately, the mobile app world is rising to meet the need for keeping accurate, actionable and accessible information in the hands of all types of users.
I am working on a project to place school emergency plans, contact numbers and site data (floor plans, emergency shut offs, evacuation routes,…) into a mobile app. I will post more on this later but early test show the value in keeping the information in the hands of the user, and off the walls.
My friends at the Red Cross are moving their information into the app world. Check out their First Aid app and think about how an app may help you keep your Team informed.