Back to School: Making Campus a Safer Place to Live and Work

It’s that time of year again. College campuses are being flooded with students and faculty returning to begin another semester. For higher education institutions around the country safety is among their administrators’ highest priorities. Yet, when you have thousands of people working and living together the logistics of communication often proves difficult—classes are in session at different times, often spread across acres; students live in dorms and apartments both on and off campus; faculty and staff often commute long distances—how do you manage communication?

Adding an emergency notification service to your campus safety plan will allow you to broadcast alerts to all of your students, faculty, and staff in minutes no matter where they are. And, by using a self-registration feature, you can have them sign up for alerts quickly and easily. Or, you can integrate the notification service with the HR and enrollment databases already in place. It’s that easy.

The following scenarios illustrate just a couple of ways in which emergency notification benefits higher education institutions:

Shelter in place or stay away. If severe weather is imminent, you need students, faculty, and staff to find a safe place to wait out the storm. If you have commuters coming to campus, you need them to know that it’s not safe for them to continue traveling. By using an emergency notification service like Send Word Now, you can reach your entire audience with one message letting them know to get to their safe place, like a dorm basement, or that classes are cancelled until further notice. All notifications can be sent to all contact points (e.g., cell phone number, email, landline number, etc.) ensuring students and faculty will get the alert regardless of what device they have with them.

Suspicious activity or violent threats. Unfortunately, the threat of an active shooter or other extreme situation is something administrators have to be prepared for on college campuses. In these situations time is of the essence and safety measures must be taken quickly. This is when a robust notification service saves time and maybe even lives. The service can send an alert to systems already in place on campus—like scrolling digital signage or PA systems in dining halls and community areas. Also by using a desktop alerting feature, administrators or campus police can send alerts to all computer labs in the danger zone so that any students or faculty working will see the alert on their computer screen. And, the same notification can still be sent to all voice and text contact points at the same time if necessary.

 

With an emergency notification service in place, you can rapidly alert tens of thousands of people, including faculty, staff, students and even parents using various communication modalities, in a matter of minutes. This semester consider enrolling in an emergency notification service.