Assess, Locate, Act, and Analyze: An Organizational Approach to COVID-19 Risk Management

Assess, Locate, Act, and Analyze: An Organizational Approach to COVID-19 Risk Management

DAN VERTON, Director of Content & Branding

April 23, 2020

When it comes to critical event management, the traditional challenge has been finding ways to respond more quickly and more decisively. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, this was a completely acceptable and understandable approach. Today, such an approach is woefully inadequate to the challenges posed by an extended public safety and health crisis.

Critical events typically involve threat scenarios with a relatively well-defined time element. But organizations can’t rely solely on quick emergency notification systems to manage the type of risk and threat environment that comes with an infectious disease outbreak. The COVID-19 global pandemic is a critical event that will persist and morph in both intensity and geographic impact for the next 12 to 18 months. This requires a different approach that only a well-designed and integrated risk intelligence and mass communications platform can deliver.

A useful way to think about this approach is the Assess, Locate, Act, and Analyze cycle.

Assess

Continuous assessment of the threat environment is the foundation of the critical event management process. Those assessments are based on information obtained from both technical and human sources. On the technical side, you may have “smart” video cameras and access control devices. On the human side, however, you have a vast, largely untapped community of observations, experiences, concerns, and questions that form your best source of advance warning. At the public safety and security leadership level, you also have a network of colleagues with unique insights and sources of information that you must find a way to tap into and leverage for your own assessment process.

Tools & Techniques to consider include:

  • Provide your employees and community members with the tools necessary to share their observations and concerns (discreetly or anonymously) with your designated COVID-19 response team.
    • The LiveSafe Mobile App and Web Tip Submit capabilities enable your employees or students to report safety and security concerns anonymously, delivering actionable risk intelligence to prevent safety, security, or public health incidents. Automated routing means these reports get to the right people.
    • Two-way communications builds trust between the community and the organization.
    • LiveSafe Connect is a collaboration platform built for security professionals to come together and share information over a private and secure network. Using LiveSafe Connect, security leaders create and manage circles of trust with hand-selected peers to share insights and knowledge about local and industry activity. Extending these circles of trust within geographies, industries, and/or affiliations generates a force-multiplier to expand risk intelligence at scale for LiveSafe Connect community members. Armed with this added intelligence, security leaders dramatically increase their situational awareness to prevent incidents and mitigate risks in real time.

Locate

Organizations must be able to locate employees or students during a critical event. Improving response time, issuing mass notifications, and improving relevant information collection all depend upon knowing the location of your community members, as well as the location from which reports were made.

  • The LiveSafe Command & Communications Dashboard gives you the power to broadcast push notifications, SMS, and emails. Contextual messaging is based on geolocation and organizational affiliation. It enables you to create Geofence and time driven messaging – delivering the right message at the right time, and at the right location.
  • Accounting for the location and status of your people during a critical event can be challenging. LiveSafe gives you the power to obtain instant accountability for your employees and students with Check-In messages.
  • You will always have gaps in your information and intelligence that can delay or hinder your response. With LiveSafe, you can prompt users to submit tips and information via Broadcast Request For Information (RFI).
  • Organizations should ensure that their community members have immediate access to emergency policies, procedures, and building maps. These resources can be stored locally on the LiveSafe Mobile app for offline availability so network connectivity is never an issue.
  • The LiveSafe Safety Map enables organizations to display the locations of key resources, such as hospitals, police department offices, emergency medical devices, or even hot spots of illness and infection.
  • For lone workers or roaming staff, the LiveSafe Platform automatically updates the resources and map data based on user location.
  • There are often many individual, localized emergencies that take place during critical events. LiveSafe’s Emergency Options will route 911 emergency calls to the appropriate 911 call center based on the user’s actual location (anywhere in the world) and will notify your dashboard administrator when and where the call was made. Users also have the option to engage in discreet communications with emergency personnel, who can leverage live location tracking for response.

Act

Once your internal business continuity or disaster response processes have been initiated, organizations must ensure timely, relevant, and targeted communications are sent to community members.

  • The LiveSafe Command & Communications Dashboard delivers real-time visibility into safety and security insights sourced from the community and is the gateway to a robust set of tools to communicate with employees and students.
  • During a critical incident, organizations can send pre-set or ad-hoc messages to the entire community, predefined groups or subgroups, or to individuals located within a specific geofenced area on the map. These geofences can be established in advance or in real-time as incidents unfold. They can also be left in place for a specific amount of time, acting as an alert tripwire for any community member entering the geofenced area.
  • The LiveSafe Check-in feature is a powerful tool to account for the location and status of your employees or students. The Check-In feature generates a mass notification to a prescribed group of Users within a User community (or the entire User community). However, it requests each recipient to inform the security department whether he/she is “OK” or “Needs Help.”
  • The LiveSafe Check-in feature can be easily adapted to daily health check-ins for employees or students to ensure timely notification of ill or COVID-19 symptomatic individuals.
  • The LiveSafe Check-in feature can also be used in Drill Mode. Much like practicing evacuation routes, using the Check-In feature in Drill Mode ensures that employees and students are familiar with the process and will know how to respond during emergencies.

Analyze

Contrary to what some in the emergency notification market promote, the process of analysis should not be relegated strictly to after action reporting. Analysis of risk and response should be constant and should form a near-real-time feedback loop for your safety, security, and public health program. Even during a critical event, there are usually many opportunities to Analyze, Assess, Locate, and Act to prevent additional harm.

The key to timely analysis and prevention is data and advanced analytics.

  • LiveSafe Insights leverages the power of artificial intelligence (AI), Natural Language Processing (NLP), and machine learning to unearth hidden risks in your enterprise, improve your LiveSafe performance, and help you compare your performance against your peer organizations.
  • These powerful technologies provide alerts for trending, high severity incident types, and help organizations go beyond just top level categories for more granular report/risk classifications.
  • LiveSafe Insights analyzes incoming tips to help detect trending threats and maximize your organization’s investment in the LiveSafe Platform. For example, if gunshots overheard on a college campus increase, we can surface that; or if reports of mental health problems or illness are on the rise, we can flag those trends. LiveSafe Insights enables you to detect if certain types of incidents are trending up or down, or if they are more severe than before.
  • Using data visualization software, LiveSafe Insights is able to present the data and trends in a way that is more digestible and easier to understand. Rather than ask clients to run their own reports or structure their own queries, LiveSafe built a trigger system that listens for certain thresholds of activity in the system to better inform clients on a need-to-know basis. In a world where we are constantly bombarded by alerts, LiveSafe wanted to give clear trends and follow-up actions in our Insights product, serving up relevant information when clients need to know it and can take preventive measures.

 

 

Dan Verton is the Director of Content & Branding at LiveSafe. Dan is a former military intelligence officer and anti-terrorism awareness training producer for a nationwide DHS training program. An award-winning journalist, Dan has a Master's Degree in Journalism and Public Affairs from American University in Washington, D.C., and is the author of four books, including The Hacker Diaries (McGraw-Hill, 2002), Black Ice: The Invisible Threat of Cyber-Terrorism (McGraw-Hill, 2003), and Left of Boom (Amazon, 2017). Follow @DanielVerton

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