Whether it’s a fire, flood, earthquake, or active shooter, events like these require a clear evacuation plan. Emergencies happen unexpectedly and can quickly turn chaotic, so being prepared as soon as an incident occurs is key for having order and saving lives.  

Visitor management systems (VMS) with an Emergency List feature help streamline emergency management across multiple locations. With this enhancement to VMS, first responders get an advantage that makes evacuation efforts more effective and efficient. 

Emergency List enables security teams to monitor real-time progress of evacuation efforts and provide emergency responders an accurate list

Learn the main capabilities of an Emergency List feature: 

Send an emergency alert notification to everyone in the workplace 

With the Emergency List feature, any admin can trigger an emergency evacuation alert, whether on-site or off. Not only can you instantly notify security teams, but all people in the workplace will receive the push notification, knowing immediately about the situation.   

VMS provides a real-time register of everyone in the building, giving awareness of who needs to be evacuated. The list includes the visitor’s name, photo, and check-in status. 

Complete digital roll calls and mark people safe 

Let’s be honest: in times of crisis, every second counts. Traditional roll calls can leave employees at risk and emergency response teams in the dark. Digital roll calls — due to their accurate record of the current building occupants — make it possible to mark people as safe as they evacuate the premises.  

Businesses no longer have to worry about lacking data with VMS. Amid flexible working arrangements, external contractors, and additional guests, digital roll calls track who has exited the building — deeming them safe — in real-time.  

Coordinate with emergency responders more smoothly 

Security teams are able to monitor progress as it’s happening – whether through the visitor management dashboard or mobile app – providing emergency responders with an accurate evacuation list. When people are marked safe, police and firefighters can better prioritize their rescue efforts. With an up-to-date evacuation list, time isn’t wasted on already safe individuals. Instead, more energy is put towards employees or visitors still unaccounted for.   

it can be a challenge for businesses to keep track of all their workspace occupants

Ultimately, with live monitoring, people are located and accounted for much faster – even among flexible workplaces. 

Synchronize emergency lists across devices 

One of the biggest benefits of leveraging VMS for emergencies is synchronizing emergency lists across devices. Not only can data be accessed from anywhere, but also from multiple locations.  

Several people across disparate evacuation points can contribute to marking people as safe. Any changes made to an individual’s status from one device will automatically update across all devices. Thus, emergency responders and those helping in the rescue are always on the same page. 

Generate post-emergency reports to improve future emergencies   

After an emergency evacuation, VMS can generate post-emergency reports. The history of previous evacuations will summarize who was accounted for, how long the emergency evacuation took to complete, and any comments made by rescue participants. This data enables teams to analyze evacuation protocols to identify improvement areas. 

Even well-managed emergencies can come with some regret. But rather than dwell on what could have gone better, ensure it doesn’t happen again in a future crisis. 

VMS can prepare your workplace for an emergency  

emergency drill for disasters

Don’t forget to use VMS for emergency drills in the office. In a 2023 study, more than 75% of workers said no emergency drill for natural disasters had been conducted in their workplaces. And only 43% were aware that their workplace had an emergency response plan in place.  

“Emergency preparedness is an essential part of workplace safety and a good way to ensure that businesses achieve the best possible outcomes when faced with an emergency,” said Paul Phillips, Eptura’s Chief Technology Officer. 

Emergency management is vital. Organizations must always be prepared for the unexpected. Employees aware of their company’s emergency evacuation plans are more likely to respond effectively during one. With emergency capabilities built within VMS and employees trained adequately on evacuations, lives will undoubtably be saved. 

To learn more on how to secure your workplace with visitor management, download Eptura’s recent e-book. 

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Jonathan writes about asset management, maintenance software, and SaaS solutions in his role as a digital content creator at Eptura. He covers trends across industries, including fleet, manufacturing, healthcare, and hospitality, with a focus on delivering thought leadership with actionable insights. Earlier in his career, he wrote textbooks, edited NPC dialogue for video games, and taught English as a foreign language. He hold a master's degree in journalism.