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Push-to-Talk Apps for Emergencies

May 6, 2019

Push-to-Talk Apps for Emergencies

Nobody expects an emergency at work -- they are simply impossible to predict. But the unfortunate truth is that workplace emergencies happen all the time, all over the world. By definition, workplace emergencies are major events that might harm employees or customers, damage equipment and facilities, or seriously disrupt work. Examples include:
  • Natural disasters like earthquakes, hurricanes, and floods
  • Fires
  • Equipment malfunction or user error
  • Injuries and other medical situations
  • Traffic accidents
  • Release of hazardous substances
  • Threats of violence

The threat of an emergency at work doesn’t just risk the lives of your employees and customers -- it also risks the life of your business itself. According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), between 25-40% of businesses do not reopen and fail within one year of experiencing a major disaster. The best way to protect your team and business is to prepare for the worst case scenario.

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How to Prepare for an Emergency at Work

Employers should train their employees to effectively respond to an emergency with an emergency action plan. At a minimum, your emergency action plan should include the following:

  • A required method for alerting people about the nature and location of an emergency
  • A plan for how to communicate during an emergency
  • An evacuation and emergency escape plan
  • Duties (medical or otherwise) that certain employees must perform before a shutdown

During an emergency, the first step is to let people know that an emergency is happening -- a mass notification system is useful for this purpose. The next step is to stay connected and communicate throughout the duration of the event -- for that you need lightning fast communication.

Historically, first responders use traditional land mobile radios (LMRs) to connect during a crisis. But as modern push-to-talk technology improves, more businesses are adding push-to-talk mobile devices into their emergency action response plan. There are many benefits of push to talk, walkie talkie apps over traditional radios, texting, and calling.

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10 Benefits of Push-to-Talk Apps in Emergencies

  1. Alerts: Many push-to-talk apps let employees notify entire teams and channels in the event of an emergency with the simple push of a button.
  2. Location: Push-to-talk apps like Zello can broadcast the location of team members in distress with state-of-the-art GPS location tracking.
  3. Flashlight: The same device that connects your team also lets them see in a power outage.
  4. Photos: With push-to-talk apps like Zello, people can take pictures and share them to keep the authorities informed (if it is safe to do so).
  5. Battery Life: Enabling your battery saving mode means your emergency push-to-talk app works throughout elongated emergencies.
  6. Convenience: Push-to-talk apps like Zello install on the employee's choice -- many of them you already own. You don’t have to carry around an extra piece of hardware to prepare for emergencies.
  7. Flexibility: Phones let you talk to one person, and radios let you talk to many. Push-to-talk apps like Zello let you do both.
  8. Connection: Radios have limited range, but push-to-talk apps connect people anywhere in the world over WiFi or data. Even if the phone towers are down, push-to-talk apps like Zello work over WiFi or 2G networks.
  9. Sound Quality: Radios and calls often have poor sound quality, but the low bandwidth of push-to-talk apps like Zello make their audio loud and clear.
  10. Recordings: Radios and calling require both parties to be present to talk, but push-to-talk apps like Zello save all messages to playback when it’s safe.

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Recap of Emergency Push-to-Talk Apps

By their very nature, emergencies can’t be predicted. The best you can do is fully prepare yourself and your business with a comprehensive emergency action plan. A crucial part of any emergency action plan is a method of communication for your employees. You need answers to questions like:

  • How do employees notify the team about an emergency?
  • How do team members stay connected during an emergency?

There are many benefits to answering these questions by using push-to-talk apps like Zello for emergencies. These apps have life-saving features and compare favorably to traditional methods of communication, like radios, calling, and texting. To learn more about Zello’s push-to-talk emergency app, request a demo below.

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Topics: Emergency

Written by Alex Rausch

Alex is a content editor at Zello.

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