What is Sanctuary?
Sanctuary, is a new mobile app that helps you get real-time updates on your employees’ safety during emergencies like fires, floods, electrical failures, active-shooter situations, or terrorist attacks. Employees can confirm whether they are safe or not with a simple tap of a button and alert others if help is needed. Companies can send push notifications during an emergency and will then be able to see their full list of employees and their status updates instantly. The employee list can be given to first responders or fire marshals to identify who may be in danger. The app also allows employers to view everyone’s contact information and their designated emergency contact.
Companies with up to 25 employees can download the app for free while others can choose from different pricing options.
Development of the Sanctuary App
The creation of the Sanctuary app came from a partnership between David Amato and Mark Schwanethal. The beta version of the app took about six months to develop and is a self-funded project. Schwanethal designed the website, app, and backend design while Amato is in charge of marketing.
“With the current times we live in we constantly have to be vigilant and living in London, I have witnessed several acts of terror close to where I work,” said Amato, a business integration manager.
How Terror in London Led to an Idea
Amato was working one mile away when the attack on the Westminster Bridge, a terrorist attack that killed four people and injured at least 20, occurred last March.
“You could hear all the police helicopters,” said Amato.
He says that he’s thankful that his office was small and he didn’t have a reason to be near the incident, but he knew many family and friends who worked near the area.
Unfortunately, during times of crisis, cell towers tend to jam so it makes it nearly impossible to reach loved ones.
“The only way to communicate was either via WhatsApp or the Facebook safety notification. From a business point of view though, it was hard to know who was out for lunch or was in the office. The immediate reaction was to lock office doors and not to let anyone in or out,” said Amato.
Those wanting to use the Sanctuary safety app just need a smartphone and an internet connection.
How Safety Concerns Can Grow Bigger with Company Size
Mark Schwanethal, a front end developer and co-founder of Sanctaury, also pointed out how easily you can start to lose track of employees during emergencies once companies start to get bigger.
“I’ve worked for medium-sized companies and been in fire drills. Honestly, someone could have still been in the building and no one would have known,” said Schwanethal.
In the end, the creators of Sanctuary want employers to make sure that all of their employees are safe and to give workers a sense of security during times of crisis.
Future updates to the app will include location based notifications and the ability to make tailored notifications for certain departments or floors within a building according to the developers.