Using Mobile Apps for Internal Emergencies: The Best Option When Disaster Strikes

It’s undeniable that mobile is the best channel for any communication that needs to be immediate. So it shouldn’t come as a surprise that many firms have taken advantage of the channel to create crisis response apps for their clients, notably the dozen or so dawn raid apps that have suddenly sprung on the app stores in the last couple of years.

But what about internal emergencies? With security threats constantly looming over organizations, from cybersecurity and ransomware to trolling and hazards for the company reputation, it’s important that your firm is prepared. In this article we’ll show you how you can prepare your firm for any kind of crisis with an internal app.

What’s wrong with written documentation?

Every firm has a small (or huge!) library of policy documents. Social media, health and safety, cybersecurity, data protection — and the list grows and grows.

Although long (and boring, probably!) these policies hold a treasure trove of information:

  • What to do in a crisis situation?
  • How to determine what a crisis actually is?
  • Who you should contact in the event of a crisis?

But there are two main problems with having this type of information in written format e.g. a pdf.

1. You’re going to have trouble getting everyone to read it all

A 50+ page document on company emergency policy might contain every single piece of information required, but the likelihood that all your employees (or even just the key ones!) read it is slim. In the scenario where people actually need to know what to do, they won’t, and then having a policy at all will not make a difference.

2. The documents are stored in an inaccessible location

If you’ve stored your organization’s policies away somewhere in different sections of your intranet, few employees will never see it, and even fewer will know where to find it when it matters most.

  Emergency Response App Example

Examples: crisis scenarios where an app could save your company

There are number of scenarios where an app could help ensure employees know what to do and who to contact, but we’ve outlined three common examples.

The reputation of the company is at risk

Firms spend considerable resources trying to protect their reputations on a daily basis – but risks are everywhere.

What if a former client or employee makes a serious allegation about the firm on a social media channel?

Would any employee in your firm who comes across this know how to respond?

If you don’t trust them to know exactly how to react, you need a first response app.

Health and safety concerns

“An employee has had an accident at work and is hurt”

Would all your employees know who to contact to report a health concern? Or what to do in the event that someone is hurt?

This is all key information to put into the app.

Systems have been hacked or breached

“Someone has accessed our systems and may have taken client/contact data”

Cybersecurity concerns are no longer just the remit of IT – empower everyone to deal with possible concerns with the app.

So what does an ideal crisis management app look like?

First, you want any crisis management or emergency response app to be as simple to use as possible. The core purpose of the app should be to deliver crucial information to the user in fewer than 3 taps of their screen, or if required, put them in touch with someone who can help.

We actually went and built a sample first response app – and these were our main considerations:

  • Keep the design of the app simple, with a focus on streamlined UX – There’s no need for aesthetically pleasing features or over-the-top graphics. The app needs to be concise and quick for the user.
  • Don’t make people read too much on each screen – divide their journey accordingly to allow users to select the crisis they’re facing, or contact someone who can help immediately.
  • Try to get your app to cater to everyone in your firm – that way you can have more eyes on potential concerns.
  • Distribute the app via a Mobile Distribution Platform if possible, so it’s instantly available in all devices.

Click ‘play with app’ to browse through the app and see some of the above examples in practice. Notice how simple it is to navigate through (you can literally get an answer to a query in 3 taps, or <10 seconds).


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