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After two blasts hit Brussels’ Zaventem Airport during Tuesday morning rush, the country issued a Level 4 alert, which means “serious and imminent attack.”
After the explosion, emergency response teams and security began evacuating the airports, looking for survivors, and searching for evidence.
More than 30 people died, and over 200 others were identified as injured or severely wounded.
"What we feared has happened — we were hit by blind attacks," Prime Minister Charles Michel said during a news conference on Tuesday.
There was no warning. There was no way to stop the attack. That is what scares us.
Airports are targets.
Our question to you is, is your airport operation prepared?
No matter the size of your airport, is your operation able to mitigate an incident as small as a slip and fall or as large as a major terrorist attack?
Granted, you can never be fully prepared for “blind attacks.” However, if one occurred at your airport – you can be ready.
You must have proactive measures in place.
Unfortunately, many airports do not have the tools to efficiently handle these type of scenarios.
That changes today.
We are going to share two incident management solutions that can help your airport mitigate incidents.
You must deploy an incident management system (IMS) to be proactive.
Without one, your team struggles.
They react to incidents based on training they “remember.” You are left trying to figure things out as you go.
Your visitors are scared and helpless.
How does that make you feel as the professional charged with everyone’s safety?
It does not lead to peace of mind, does it?
You have a problem: Not being able to respond proactively to mild or severe incidents that occur at your airport.
We get that it can be overwhelming when you don’t have a solution in place.
A problem without a solution is what is causing you and your staff to be overwhelmed.
Keep reading, because we have your solution.
Put an incident management system in place. When you do, you can maximize the impact of your emergency management plan.
An IMS lets you centralize your efforts across all departments.
The solution is a web-based operational tool for mitigating incidents more efficiently than ever.
Each department, from Administration to TSA, accesses the solution to enter information about an incident and to receive real-time, live updates of an incident’s status.
If a bomb goes off, the explosion would not leave your team paused in their tracks. Within seconds, on-scene personnel can report the severity to your command center.
Rather than confusion and a multitude of questions, your team is in action. They are in instant communication with all departments, personnel, and visitors.
Do you have protocols to handle at your airport? A bombing attack requires quick action and quick response from your team.
If we overwhelmed you, it is because we meant to. It is serious.
You must understand that preparation can mean the difference between seconds and minutes.
What happened in Brussels could happen to your airport. Your team could be faced with a similar attack.
The questions above are only a few of the many possibilities to prepare.
You need to limit your operation’s reactiveness if something similar were to occur. Put an incident reporting system in place to ensure proactive operations is standard at your airport.
If a bombing attack occurs, many processes need to execute. There are many protocols to follow.
Most teams have never responded to or actually handled a bombing attack before. This is a new scenario, so there is no muscle memory for them to rely on.
It is a cause for attention because who knows how many days, months or years will go by from the last day of training before a major incident occurs.
It is easy to forget vital aspects of training you do not use every day. Your team will need assistance responding.
Put your protocols to handle into your incident management software so that when an incident occurs, the proper protocols automatically populate for your team on how to effectively respond – from the slip and fall to the bomb explosion.
Your command center does not have to experience a panic attack to locate the airport’s emergency response plan for a bombing.
All vital processes can be communicated to the rest of your team in seconds.
Keep reading, because supplementing your system with incident management mobile apps streamlines communication for every responding department.
When telecommunication channels are down, you are still charged with mitigating the incident. It is not a matter of choice.
As you already know, when a major incident occurs, it is hard to use your phone to communicate. Everyone is trying to contact family or emergency services.
Can you imagine the radio traffic as well? Your operation cannot support this. You must be proactive.
You must have a mobile communication solution active.
Deploying mobile apps for all your departments and personnel elevates your communication capabilities.
Now, you are not only able to automate your protocols to handle via your incident reporting solution but can create excellent internal communication.
Telecommunication channels are no longer a factor. You can use your airports Wi-Fi or data infrastructure to support your private network of incident communication.
Let’s go back to radio traffic for a moment.
Imagine that a major incident, such as a bombing attack, occurs at your airport.
How do you communicate?
You might only have radios. Communication is going to be fragmented.
We are not minimizing the fact that your staff is well-trained. We are not discounting the countless hours of training and tabletop exercises your personnel have undergone.
However, we need you to understand you cannot be limited in your ability to mitigate incidents. There can be no friction when it is time to respond.
You must have all solutions in place to ensure proactive operations. All solutions.
Proactive operations use mobile communication to eliminate the bottlenecks and inconsistencies associated with conventional communication methods.
When an incident occurs, protocols to handle are sent to the device. Moreover, if someone discovers something vital to evidence while executing these protocols, they can quickly capture a picture and video to upload instantly to the IMS.
Your staff is in real-time communication, which allows them to mitigate the incident while carrying out two-way communication with one another.
Your command center and supervisors also use the communication devices to track and direct staff to specific areas. Send out relevant directives to one or all devices without the worry of lost information.
Consider the difference in response capabilities!
Rather than being reactive, you are proactive.
Rather than utter chaos, your team can be laser-focused on securing your airport.
Use your incident reporting software and mobile communication devices to mitigate incidents that occur at your airport.
Everyone’s peace of mind depends on you.
Airports, like other properties, must be prepared for any incident. After Tuesday’s bombing at Brussels’ Zaventem Airport, the need for incident management solutions could not be clearer.
Will you be deploying these solutions at your airport to ensure incidents as severe as a bombing attack are mitigated with maximum efficiency?