Utilising Location-based Notifications in a Crisis

Location is a primary factor in determining who is at risk in an emergency; being able to receive and send information is critical in a wide variety of events.

When an organisation is communicating with employees during a crisis, it is important they have the tools necessary to ensure quick, accurate, and easy transmission. One of the most powerful tools in modern incident management is location-based notifications, which include GPS tracking and functions like geofencing. Location is a primary factor in determining who is at risk in an emergency; being able to receive and send information is critical in a wide variety of events.

What are location-based notifications?

Location-based notifications are communications that use location data to determine the audience. For example, receiving an emergency weather alert based on the city you are in. Using GPS and cellular signal technology, mobile applications can determine a person’s location. Utilising location data allows emergency communication to be targeted to a specific and relevant audience.

Why use location-based communications over mass notifications in emergency situations?

Many emergencies your business might face won’t threaten your entire company. For example, one of your offices may experience a power outage. Instead of inadvertently sending your entire company home you could instruct employees stationed specifically at the affected office to work remotely for the day. Higher risk crisis scenarios are often high-stress events and by using location-based communication, you can also avoid excess panic and worry. The key to a successful outcome in an emergency is a quick and effective early response. This is only possible if the right information is available at the right place, at the right time. Fast communication of information regarding the conditions and needs at the point of disaster, combined with timely information on available resources and their whereabouts can win valuable time in reacting to an emergency.

Employee data to consider

When utilising incident management systems that have location-based communication functionality, it is key to consider several key features to aid both emergency response and preparedness. This will ensure that ‘duty of care’ is fulfilled and employees are reassured they are in safe hands.

1. Physical location
The first and most basic kind of location information. By utilising GPS and monitoring technology, employees can turn their smartphones into a beacon – highlighting their physical location to control and response teams in real-time.

2. Journey Management
Incident Management systems not only protect your employees while at their desks but while they are travelling too. Journey features ensure start and endpoints are recorded – whilst timers can provide approximate arrival times. Emergency alerts are then automatically generated when these timers overrun.

3. Geo-smart targeting
The process of sending communication based on that location data is often accomplished through geofencing. Geofencing allows you to draw a “fence” around a particular area of a map, then automatically includes everyone in that area within the audience. This can be used to target your communications with pinpoint accuracy and can be automated to improve crisis response times.

4. 2-way communication
Visibility into emerging incidents and the ability to communicate directly with affected individuals can be invaluable. 2-way communication will provide insight into the situation on the ground – and can aid response teams in locating affected personnel.

Automated communications that utilise location data and harness geo-intelligent tools enable organisations to identify, connect and communicate directly with affected employees, helping to ensure their safety during critical events, incidents and natural disasters. To find out how our solution can aid your organisation in crisis situations globally, contact us for a private 1:1 consultation at info@locate.global.