Why It Is Important to Use Technology to Help Prepare and Respond to an Incident or Event – Part 2

 “If I had eight hours to chop down a tree, I’d spend six sharpening my axe.” — Abraham Lincoln

Two weeks ago, my blog post discussed how an integrated software solution can act as an organizational catalyst during an incident or event, because it allows you to prepare and respond faster while also becoming more flexible when dealing with demanding situations. When organizations or associations implement technology solutions like Intergraph Planning & Response (IPR) instead of using Excel spreadsheets or SharePoint checklists to deal with these situations, it allows them to work within one software solution that creates a common operating picture and information distributor. When we apply technology to incident and event management, response teams can work in an organized and effective manner in an environment where inefficiencies can be improved upon by technology.

Hexagon Safety & Infrastructure incident and event software solution – IPR – is currently being used around the world to support different planned event and unplanned incidents. There are many amazing capabilities and features that ensure IPR users are better prepared and operate better during events and incidents. One of IPR’s greatest features is its ability to create and work with Automated & Dynamic Action Plans. IPR uses many different visual techniques to organize information including mind maps, a communication hub, and dynamic maps. All of these visual organizational techniques lend themselves well to managing, updating, and developing new action plans on the fly. Because of IPRs dynamic ability to drag and drop new updates or tasks, it can address issues like changing and evolving objectives and inadequate planning and preparation, which are shortcomings in most paper procedures. IPR allows you to digitally capture changes to incidents response plans and use for organizational learning and planning purposes.

 

The above mind map highlights IPRs flexibility to be very useful during an exercise event with Calgary Police Services (CPS), turning the agency’s paper SOPs and checklists into a software directed automated and dynamic action plan. CPS was not only able to incorporate their plans for the 2015 Calgary Stampede Parade event, which would end up hosting around 350,000 people, but they were also able to update tasks and action items quickly and effectively during different scenarios using IPR. Calgary Police Services, like many other agencies and organizations that we work with, often have a wealth of knowledge and experience stored only in key personnel’s minds. They wanted to explore a software solution that would take all of the knowledge the department had and put it into plans, tasks, and processes for the event.  When planning an event of this scale, there is a high degree of risks and contingencies to account for throughout the event, including missing persons, unattended bags, and protest groups. With the flexibility of IPR, the CPS did not have to worry about changing their Excel checklist information. Instead, they were able to change items in IPR and have that change recognized by anyone else using the software. This functionality is not just useful during planned events like a parade, but is also very useful during stressful unplanned incidents, like an Amber Alert.

If you’re interested in discovering how other agencies use IPR, register for one of our upcoming Canadian Emergency Management Roadshows. These events are free and open to emergency planning, management, and response professionals.

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