There are many heroes that arise in the wake of a natural disaster, from the citizens that rise to help their neighbors to the public safety heroes that risk their lives and spend relentless hours supporting emergency response and rescue operations. There are also many behind the scenes actions that take place for public safety organizations to be able to respond so quickly and efficiently.
The three, often overlooked, factors for effective emergency planning are:
- Using scheduling software that help your agency respond and adapt in times of crises
- Using EOCs (Emergency Operation Centers)
- Improving mobile communication
Use Scheduling Software that Enables Your Agency to Respond and Adapt in Times of Crises
Scheduling is an essential part of public safety agencies. A period of crisis such as a disaster or pandemic can quickly impact your resources and operations. InTime’s scheduling features enable your agency to respond and adapt in real-time during periods of crises. InTime can also help produce the necessary reports to help your agency receive additional financial support.
Set Emergency Coverage Levels in Advance
All departments involved in emergency response should have a schedule in place that can be used temporarily to help with the increased demand placed on their staff and resources. For example, your rotation pattern may temporarily change from 3 on/3 off to 4 on/3 off or mandatory 10 hour days. You will need to increase your coverage levels and may want to restrict the amount of leave time you grant.
With InTime you can plan and build your emergency response schedule well in advance of an emergency. The “template builder” allows you to build your rotation patterns and set your coverage levels. If you are to encounter an emergency or disaster, your administrators can quickly load this template into your schedule within minutes and all staff will instantly be notified.
Schedule by Location
InTime allows you to schedule your employees by locations or posts. This enables you to manage your coverage in areas closer to disaster zones or where higher levels of coverage are required. It also gives you the ability to know where all your employees are at all times.
For example, you have officers working special details at a football stadium. An emergency arises on the other side of the city and you need to be able to quickly deploy personnel to that area. You can use InTime to see where your officers are at the time and immediately broadcast a notification to employees.
Find Employees with Proper Training
With InTime, you can schedule your staff based on a variety of attributes. By doing so, you can quickly find employees with specific skills and training, such as paramedics or officers with advanced first aid to fill shifts or emergency overtime.
Often in the event of an emergency, it’s easy to forget that you will need to be able to report on the financial impact it had on your department in order to get cost reimbursement from FEMA. It’s not something you are going to think of at the time of an emergency, so it needs to be planned in advance.
InTime can quickly generate reports showing your increased overtime hours, what activities they were associated with and the number of personnel that can be used for presentation to federal agencies.
Allow for Multi-Agency Collaboration with EOCs
In the case of an emergency such as an earthquake pandemic, terrorist attack or natural disaster, the chances are your police agency is not going to be acting alone, but in conjunction with first responders, firefighters, paramedics and possibly even with the National Guard.
Setting up an EOC involves multi-agency collaboration within a jurisdiction to manage available resources and improve lines of communication. The benefits are:
- Improved communication between all agencies involved in emergency response
- Allows for better staff, asset and resource planning
- Better reporting of financial and resource impact of the event to state and federal agencies for cost reimbursements
How InTime Can Help Facilitate EOCs
InTime’s scheduling system is designed to be used by not only individual agencies, but at city and county levels. The “branch scheduling” system enables all your county or city’s departments to be managed autonomously, within the same system.
In the event of an emergency, using InTime to manage your EOC’s staffing levels will allow your jurisdiction to:
- Broadcast notifications across all departments
- Monitor coverage levels across departments
- Move staff between departments if needed to meet coverage levels
- Ensure all staff are properly trained and qualified
- Monitor deployment by location (ie. Make sure staff are stationed in disaster zones)
- Provide precise reporting on all worked hours, locations and activities
Improve Mobile Communication
InTime is going to can help you improve communication during an emergency in a few ways:
Easily send out mass notifications to all, or a specific subset, of employees
Immediately notify employees of any shift changes, new postings for available shifts, and approvals for leave or activity requests. Supervisors can receive instant notifications for shift requests, leave requests and overtime slips. This can be done through SMS, Email, and/or the InTime Mobile App for iOS and Android.
Quickly Fill Overtime Shifts
In times of emergency, there is bound to be an increase in overtime demand. With InTime, you can fill overtime shifts faster and easier using a browser or the InTime Mobile App. Employees are able to receive instant alerts for available shifts, sort and filter available postings, sign up for shifts, and receive notifications if they are approved.
Contact the InTime’s sales team for a demo or a free trial of our product. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1-877-603-2830.