Expect the Unexpected

Keep calm and expect the unexpected

Telaeris was recently approached by a company inquiring about our XPressEntry (XPE) emergency mustering system. One of the first questions they asked was:

“How long does it take to get a current list of
onsite employees after the emergency starts?”

I had to stop for a moment and make sure I heard the question appropriately. My answer surprised them: “XPressEntry always has a current list of onsite employees available.  We continuously monitor all area occupancies. As users enter or exit, XPressEntry gets near-real-time updates in our system which is pushed out to our handhelds.”

The customer concern stemmed from information from a competitor that it would take 15 minutes after the start of the emergency to pull their occupancy from the back-end PACS (Physical Access Control System). My response was probably not the most politically correct:

“It’s a good thing emergencies always
give you that 15 minute head start!”

It's hard to ask a crisis to occur at a more convenient time.
It's hard to ask a crisis to occur at a more convenient time.

It would never occur to me that any mustering system would operate this way. When emergencies happen, everything is unexpected.  You don’t know any of the following:

  1. When an emergency is going to happen
  2. What the weather will be like
  3. Whether data coverage (wifi/cell) will be available
  4. If your access control system be accessible or physically destroyed
  5. Whether employees will grab their badges
  6. Whether they might go to a different or any evacuation area

There are obviously many more unknowns.  When we built XPressEntry, our goal was to be operational with as much going wrong as possible. Our assumption is that everything would likely go to hell in a hand basket at the same time. We ensured with our system:

  • Occupancies are continuously updated
  • Our devices work in heavy rain, snow or dust storms(IP65)
  • We store activity offline indefinitely
  • Users can check occupancies locally
  • Manual searches are available w/o a badge
  • Employees can be mustered at any site
  • For missing users, we can muster via email or SMS

Our goal with XPressEntry is to make sure everyone is safely accounted for in an emergency. We built our system to be as robust as possible to always keep an eye on your employees.

Merekat sentries watch for danger
Merekat sentries watch for danger

The book Great By Choice describes a concept of productive paranoia. The idea is businesses who survive best are highly attuned to potential threats, especially when there is nothing to fear.  This awareness is channeled into preparations and contingency plans, so when trouble comes, they are ready to handle the unexpected.

Think about this in respect to your employee safety program.

Is your next emergency situation going to give you a 15 minute
head start?

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