Using Real-Time Visualization To Streamline Employee Evacuation and Protect Your People
Protecting Critical Assets
Disasters can be unpredictable, but new technology has expedited the dissemination of information to provide necessary details to people in moments of crisis. Whether the situation stems from an event such as a protest, or is weather-related like a hurricane, businesses are susceptible to adverse conditions surrounding their facility.
Security teams work tirelessly to monitor social events and weather, but have to sift through volumes of data with their attention split between myriad screens that could contain relevant content. In order to determine the validity of data, teams cross-reference the information before reporting to an executive.
For a global bank with facilities and employees all over the world, understanding and awareness is critical. Security faces the challenge of finding and addressing serious problems as they surface; teams must have a strong global understanding of issues to answer executives’ questions about pressing matters. On top of keeping tabs on social and weather related data, security must be able to quickly identify who or what is affected. Security teams prepare update reports that provide executives with a rundown of the latest information that includes:
- Details of the issue
- How many facilities or banks are affected
- The number of employees on-site
- How many travelers are impacted, if any
Executives are reliant on their teams and have no way to make sense of this data quickly on their own. Teams faces issues when executives ask for updates about assets in an alternate location; security is left rushing to collect, cross-check, and report data on a case by case basis, creating major slowdowns in decision-making and communication.
Executives and their teams need an expedient way to report on data. In time critical situations, every minute matters. Understanding context leading up to a situation can help in deploying a crisis plan preemptively to better protect critical assets.
Leading Indicators and the Current Approach
To determine if a serious issue is developing, executives and their staff turn to leading indicators. For example, major banks tend to use weather and social posts as their leading indicators to help identify legitimate issues. By monitoring these exterior events, they can better determine if a dangerous storm is forming or if a protest is happening nearby.
The intention of watching weather is to help security be proactive in their approach to keeping the bank’s assets protected. While forecasts have improved to better address the severity of incoming weather, it is still extremely difficult to account for sudden changes. Teams watch for rapid shifts in direction or intensity to compare these factors against the amount of facilities and number of people that could be impacted.
Security teams also rely on real-time social posts that can give first-person insights to what is happening around the bank. Tapping into social feeds can help teams identify the exact location of a problem and keep tabs on how it develops. In times of weather-related crises, leveraging social posts can help teams better understand:
- Road conditions as reported by evacuees
- Flow of traffic
- Current evacuation conditions
Social posts do more than provide another layer of insight for weather issues. They also equip executives with information about ongoing events surrounding their facilities, like scheduled parades or groups of protestors. Teams must closely monitor these types of situations to see if they escalate. With greater insight, executives can heighten security around their facility and create a game plan to involve authorities if there is a need.
A Holistic, Expedient Solution
Live Earth is an IoT data visualization platform that comes with out-of-the-box data overlays like traffic and weather. The platform consolidates these with other data streams into a common operational picture, which gives security a fuller, more comprehensive view of the facilities they monitor. Instead of having to consult and review a multitude of screens, operations teams can evaluate the problem from one monitor and utilize features on the platform to decrease the likelihood that something is missed.
Executives need a real-time IoT platform that integrates their existing systems and visualizes them on a single screen. Instead of security teams splitting their attention across multiple screens to cross-reference data, they could analyze the information from one location. By seeing all their disparate data sources in one place, security can be more efficient in their approach by directing their attention to one primary location. This enhances their ability to monitor their facilities and assets in context of exterior events, like weather, social posts and traffic.
How Key Features can Help Minimize Disasters
For example, a major bank is aware that a hurricane is developing. With access to real-time weather and a dedicated hurricane feed, security staff can navigate to the storm and pull up pertinent details, like wind speeds and direction. With their systems integrated (facilities, employees, travelers) they can use the forecasted cone of uncertainty from the hurricane feed to create an interactive chart that displays how many employees and facilities are in the hurricane’s path. They can also quickly determine which of their assets are safe.
Live Earth creates customized alerts that are sent via text, email, or in-platform. In this scenario, an alert notifying staff about a change in the storm’s intensity or direction could help them decide faster on how to respond. If an evacuation is necessary, operations teams can then survey traffic flow and pull up traffic cameras to have a street-level understanding of congestion around their bank.
In the event that the storm develops too quickly and is bearing down on the bank before there is time to evacuate, a bank can use their own systems for another layer of insight and security. Employing video management systems, like a Milestone or Genetec, combined with door access controls such as those from Johnson Controls, and indoor mapping of the facility like those created by HERE Technologies, security keeps closer tabs on the activities in and around their facility in the event of a hurricane or similar disaster.
Executives would also have the capability to rewind the interactive timeline on Live Earth for historical analysis of the events. In the midst of a hurricane, or in the aftermath, executives can use the timeline to watch how a given problem developed, how quickly their team addressed the problem, and the steps that were taken to handle the situation.
A Combined Solution with Results
Implementing a real-time IoT platform like Live Earth provides executives and their staff with the information they require to tackle serious issues expediently. Instead of having to cross-reference data from multiple platforms, executives can easily move between their facilities and assets and visualize how each will be impacted. This reduces the amount of time it takes staff to provide executives with specifics about multiple scenarios, and helps them answer detailed questions executives might have in real-time. The result is a combined solution that provides context to enhance awareness, allowing security and executives to make decisions faster to minimize damage to their assets and better protect their people.