Emergency Headcounts and Mustering
At any point, whether at a place of business, an event, or a school, a disaster may strike. Therefore, it is important to be ready for an emergency. Also, for large workplaces, schools, and events, these preparedness plans might be required by law. Ultimately, having a preparedness plan in place for these unexpected disasters will help everyone get to safety, and in some cases, save lives.
Captains and Drills
Whether it’s a supervisor, a CEO, or an administrator, someone will need to establish a clear chain of command. More specifically, someone will need to be in charge. Usually, in regard to a preparedness plan, a ‘captain’ will be in place in the event of an emergency with a vice captain. Sometimes, with large scale evacuations, multiple captains should be in place. Likewise, a teacher or multiple teachers will take similar roles in schools.
Importantly, you should establish this chain of command and practice during drills. Drilling will allow the emergency mustering process to go smoothly when a real emergency occurs. According to OSHA, workplace emergency drills should be conducted “as often as necessary to keep employees prepared.”
Where codeREADr comes in
codeREADr allows for mustering and roll call to be easily accomplished. We suggest importing the values of the IDs you will be scanning. This can be either all IDs, or who you expect to be there. For a more detailed approach, check this page.
Alternatively, you can configure the service to only read the ID number. Also, you don’t have to import personal information at all. Moreover, you can use this later to compare scan records with offline databases or Excel sheets.
Additionally, codeREADr can integrate with third party attendance systems. We suggest either utilizing Zapier or connecting through our API. Importantly, you may need a web developer for these options.
Then in the event of an emergency, captains can check in everyone with a device.
codeREADr Mustering Basics
An emergency mustering service with codeREADr can be simple to set up. Here’s a quick rundown of how the platform could work:
Upload a Database
First, a validation database is imported and filled with values of those who will be scanned.
Create a Service
Second, create and associate an attendance service to the database to validate against.
Third, scan in the “attendees”, which could be employees, students, or guests.
Scan Attendees Again
Next, with the initial attendees accounted for, a master list will be composed. When the time calls for mustering, the attendees can be scanned again
Verify who is Present
Finally, the service compares against those who are present and those who were expected to be present. Essentially, this will show who is present and who is “absent.”
1 – First, the IDs holders should already have a barcode to scan. However, if they don’t, you can issue barcode labels to affix to their IDs. In addition, you can have them use a program like ID123 for a digital ID. Importantly, it’s possible to use the app’s Lookup feature and not scan barcodes. However, that is usually if the ID-holders don’t have their ID for scanning.
Note: Also, you can use RFID/NFC reading instead of a barcode scan. Here, the ID should include RFID/NFC chip and the scanning device have RFID/NFC.
2 – Secondly, upload a list (CSV file) of IDs in advance to the codeREADr servers. Fortunately, this process takes less than a minute. Ideally, that list would be the IDs and names of the ‘currently present’. Alternatively, that list could be all IDs and then continuously reconcile during the emergency.
Note: Alternatively, you can manage scan data by auto-exporting your scan records to third-party database programs. Moreover, you can use our APIs and Postback options to post scan records to your server or third party servers.
1 – Primarily, regular drills will make the mustering process more efficient.
2 – Secondly, assign specific mustering areas with each location sharing one or more characteristic (room, floor, building, etc).
3 – Thirdly, assign administrators to be the ‘leader’ of a group of ID-holders mustering to a defined location.
4 – Also, you should pre-install our app so you can prepare in advance.
5 – Importantly, at least one person must be familiar with managing data and updating database on the web.
6 – Furthermore, consider internet connectivity for syncing scans and databases to a server. You can set up codeREADr to work online if connectivity is stable. Alternatively, you can set it as ‘on-device’ (offline) with Auto Sync in the background if there’s at least some connectivity.
Notably, with on-device scanning, validation is instant since there’s no Internet latency. Therefore, we highly recommend it for continuous scanning applications. Also, when there’s no connectivity, the app can still scan. Importantly, it will validate for uploading when the internet connectivity is back.
Generally, it is fine for the devices to use your existing Wi-Fi system and the system is intact. However, if a cellular network is the only internet access, the connection may be slow with many people. Therefore, it is important to check and prepare alternatives. For example, you can set up a dedicated Wi-Fi hotspot at each designated mustering location. After that, you can have the app users to connect to the hotspot in advance.
Appointing a Mustering Ground
There should be specific areas to muster in and then conduct an emergency headcount. Different staff members might arrive at different points of evacuation. Therefore, at least one captain with a device should be at each location. As a result, captains can check in everyone upon arrival. Ultimately, selecting a point(s) to muster in is central to being able to gather up everyone who should be present, and then figure out who might be missing.
Identification and Guests
Importantly, you can scan staff, attendees, or students in and out in order to have the roll call function well. Also, in order for the mustering application useful, you’ll need a list of which people are there on that given day, on site. Another hurdle is the presence of guests. Guests have to be registered or taken into account somehow, we suggest with guest-specific ID badges or cards. Furthermore, you can use designated guest passes that aren’t linked to anyone specific, but are scanned in on a provisional basis.