As an employer, you are asking your employees — from just a few to tens of thousands or more — to put their safety in your hands every day. Depending on the location of your office or offices, you could face very different safety issues: tropical storms, snowstorms, floods, power outages, water main breaks, gas leaks, and shooter alerts are some that come immediately to mind.
In today’s office environment, it’s rare that professionals are working 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, in the same office location. Our teams are traveling, working from home, and flexing their time to meet home and work needs. You can’t just announce over the office speaker or send an email to corporate email addresses to alert employees about critical safety information and hope the message is received.
At Gannett Fleming, safety is a number one priority. Proper communication and getting information to those that need it quickly to ensure their safety is key. Gannett Fleming looked internally, to its geospatial division, GeoDecisions, and the Esri Release Ready Notify solution for its primary tool for mass communication during emergency events.
On the move for more than 13 days, Dorian was one of the longest-lasting named storms in U.S. history. It impacted states all along the East Coast with everything from life-threatening storm surges and dangerous winds to flash flooding and tornadoes. With Notify, Gannett Fleming was able to send an alert to the Jacksonville team about an office closure using the numbers employees keep updated in their profile preferences. Once the threat of Dorian had passed, leaders sent a new message saying the office was reopened. In both cases, they could be confident the messages were received.
Mary Hoff, an administrator of Gannett Fleming’s Alert Me system using Notify, said, “It is as easy as 1, 2, 3. I can define a distribution group by drawing it on the map or use a preloaded database. I load the approved message and send.”
Notify is an advanced, high-speed alert notification system aligned with Esri ArcGIS Online/Portal, designed to deliver location-based voice, text, and email messages within minutes. Using data from the Esri Living Atlas, users can add additional data sets along with their own Esri-based data to Notify. These data sets can include layers such as hurricane-force wind probabilities and hurricane path data. A simple spatial query can select offices and employees within the path of the hurricane.
Our leadership and safety team can then create a text message, voice/phone call, or send an email directly to the affected employees. This message can be focused, providing instructional information, and include links to the intranet or other sources of information. The messages can be saved for your records or scheduled to provide follow-up information.