Blog Post

How Mobile Forms Can Help with Disaster Response

Posted by Brett Long

Recovery direction sign with sunset background

Are you ready for the worst? This might sound extreme, but the idea of being ready should the worst happen isn’t without merit. By planning ahead, you can avoid some issues altogether or keep a situation from escalating when an accident or disaster happens at your site.

Whether it’s a natural disaster or a man-made one, things can always go wrong. Here are some ways you can prepare.

Disaster Response and Device Magic

In September 2016, Hurricane Hermine hit the Jacksonville area of Florida hard. After the storm, a major cell carrier in the area reached out for urgent help creating a form under a tight deadline as part of their disaster recovery response. Device Magic was able to respond that same day and help them quickly begin to assess the situation.

Device Magic created a mobile form for the cell carrier to help them assess the condition of each cell tower location in the Jacksonville area. Techs were sent out to each cell tower to perform a site assessment and used their mobile forms to report if the tower had power, whether or not the generator had turned on, if there was damage or if there had been a failure.

This information allowed managers to understand what was going on at each location. They received an emailed report in real-time after the techs completed the assessment form on their mobile devices. With this data, managers had a clear picture of what had happened and could then create their response plan and make other decisions.

This process was able to be repeated again after Hurricane Matthew in October 2016.

Responding to natural disasters should also include how you prepare for them. Make sure you have a documented plan in place that can be followed if the worst should happen.

Responding to Man-Made Disasters

Accidents happen. For many industries, an accident or error can have extensive potential consequences.

We’ve seen the huge impact of a construction site error when a crew working on a bridge construction project accidentally severed a main transmission line for Ocracoke and Hatteras in the Outer Banks, North Carolina in July. Thousands of people and businesses on the islands were left without power for a week.

Once an incident occurs, you need to be able to deal with it immediately to minimize the potential impact. Mobile forms can help you to evaluate damage at a work site or understand the extent of the problem, so you can determine the necessary next steps.

You could use a location question field within your mobile form to map the extent of the issue, or submit requests for the parts needed to make a repair. Being able to gather this information quickly enables you to make informed decisions about next steps, and keeps the problem from getting worse.

Preventing Disasters with Safety Training

Potentially dangerous situations are part of day-to-day operations on a job site, in the warehouse, or out in the field. It’s important to be prepared for when the unexpected happens by making training and safety a priority. Creating a job safety analysis for high risk tasks is one way to do this. Digitize safety processes by using mobile devices to make completing compliance forms on-site easy and fast, as well as keeping documentation accessible.

Accidents and errors happen when workers are not sufficiently trained in safety best practices or are rushing through jobs and not taking precautions. The importance of following best practices for safety should be emphasized, and safety training should involve more than a quick overview in the morning before work begins. That way, errors and accidents can be stopped before they occur.

Wondering how a mobile form can help your business with disaster response or preparedness?

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