When a disaster or crisis strikes a nation, people’s initial reaction is anything but calm. For example, when the Wuhan coronavirus disease (COVID-19) reached the Philippines, people crowded supermarkets and grocery stores to panic-buy.
While fear and anxiety are common reactions to these circumstances, it’s essential to know: What’s the best thing to do?
In dire situations such as health emergencies, taking immediate, informed action is critical. Lucky for us humans, there are tools we can use to respond to crises and disasters as quickly as possible.
Technology, for instance, gives you the chance to communicate much easier, respond to emergencies faster, and stay productive amid the chaos. Take a look at these five helpful ways to use technology in times of an emergency.
5 Ways to Effectively Use Technology
1. SMS for Emergency Notifications
At the onset of a natural disaster or a health emergency, the public should be informed. Today, you have multiple means to get the word out: traditional media, social networking sites, phone calls.
But when it comes to sending critical information in a quick, reliable way, SMS proves to be an excellent option.
Here’s why: 98% of text messages are opened, and 95% are read within the first three minutes. More so, people do not need an internet connection to receive your message.
When notifying people of emergencies through text, it’s important to keep your message short, clear, and concise. Include only the most crucial details like a phone number to reach for assistance.
Also, include your organization’s name so the public can identify where the message is coming from. In the case of COVID-19, government agencies can launch text blasts for news updates, latest developments, and official announcements.
Providing the public crucial information — where they should go, what they need to do — is key to minimizing risks and dangers. SMS providers like Mobile360 offer solutions that can help organizations reach millions of people at once during an emergency.
2. Cloud Technology for Disaster Relief
Disaster response teams need to gather crucial data before they head out and respond to a crisis. The situation’s severity and its geographical focus are just some of the things they need to know.
But here’s the challenge: Often, these data are huge and complex. What makes it even more challenging is the fact that response teams need to access these large data as quickly as possible.
Simply put, disaster recovery units need a highly accessible, scalable, and reliable system to optimize their operations. And this is where cloud technology steps in.
Cloud services help facilitate the access and transfer of these data among key players during disaster relief. Also, they help organizations prevent critical data loss, and scale their platforms like apps or websites to handle heavy traffic.
3. Mobile Application for Crisis Management
Mobile applications are essential during crises — and for a good reason. Both public and private organizations can use them to send health emergency or disaster-related updates and alerts.
Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, techies around the world developed mobile apps to aid in the situation. These apps deliver real-time alerts and track transmissions related to the disease.
For instance, South Korea launched a mobile app called Corona 100m (Co100) on February 11. The app alerts users when they are within 100 meters of an area visited by a COVID-infected person.
Meantime, in Colombia, President Ivan Duque announced the launch of CoronApp-Colombia. The app allows users to register their families and friends, record their health status, and receive prevention tips.
With these mobile apps, governments can help prepare their constituents and prevent the spread of COVID-19.
4. Web Application for Business Continuity
When a natural disaster or a health crisis hits, many businesses are forced to close down or stop their operations. Not when you have a business continuity plan, though.
Obviously, there’s not much you can do when your business is confronted by a natural disaster or a health emergency. But while these things are out of your control, you can minimize its damaging effect on your business.
Here’s how: Begin with developing a solid business continuity plan and keep your e-commerce site up and running. You should know, however, that you need to consider several factors — risks, for example.
Additionally, you need to identify whether your team is ready to fulfill orders and communicate with customers effectively. Otherwise, your e-commerce site may not be able to achieve the results you’re eyeing.
In a nutshell, an e-commerce site can let you accommodate transactions your physical store can’t, helping ensure business continuity. However, you need to make sure you’re ready to handle the demand given the circumstances of an emergency.
5. Productivity Tools for Remote Working
When a health emergency threatens workers’ health and safety, it becomes essential to impose a more flexible working scheme. Many private entities, however, fear this will result in reduced productivity.
Thankfully, you’ll find various productivity apps and software that are useful for remote working. Project management software and remote collaboration apps, for example, are popular among organizations practicing remote working regularly.
These are tools private organizations can use when the need calls for a more adaptable working arrangement. When the Philippine government announced the need for a community quarantine due to COVID-19, several companies implemented a skeletal force or a work-from-home setup.
In times like this, productivity tools prove useful in maintaining the team’s collaboration. Workflow automation software also helps streamline business processes even with reduced human intervention.
Any form of a crisis — a health emergency, a natural disaster, a territorial conflict — can disrupt your day-to-day activities. What you can do, however, is to use your available resources wisely to help yourself and others survive.
Technology, for example, can do wonders when utilized the right way amid a crisis. The key is to identify where you need help with and determine how technology can address your challenges.
If you’re not sure how you can properly use technology, though, you can always seek expert advice. There are technology providers like Yondu that can help identify your needs and come up with solutions for your specific requirements.