As recognized by the Jeanne Clery Act, emergencies on college campuses span from active shooters to bad weather to political protests. While the Clery Act is best known for requiring immediate emergency notifications, it actually goes much further by establishing a baseline for each institution’s immediate emergency response and evacuation procedures, including the use of electronic and cellular communication. With the framework of the Clery Act and modern technologies, true preparedness and the ability to quickly respond is now possible.
Success in organizational or campus safety is contingent upon careful planning and collaboration with other business units. The best outcomes occur when an emergency manager, operations manager, safety director, or the like, assembles a team to assist with testing and implementing their solution. When you’re working with hundreds, or even thousands, of people on a large campus the question comes down to how can you make sure you’re successfully reaching every person?
As an industry leader in emergency notification, one would imagine that we were swamped with inquiries related to the false missile warning in Hawaii and Japan; and more recently with the active shooter 'false alarm' at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland. We were. Whether the questions came from the media, customers who have implemented our solutions, or organizations planning to implement Omnilert, the inquiries were unified in theme.
As we look into 2018 and towards new and exciting technological advancements in emergency communications, I reminisce about a moment I recently had with my father. He recently shared a hard copy, binder version of his Emergency Response & Action Plan from the 1990’s with me. As the Supervisory Inspector of The Peace Bridge at the U.S.-Canada border, he was the lead author of the documented procedures and responsible for implementing emergency response. As we reviewed the 20-year-old plan, it brought us both back to how things once were. As we reminisced on all the late night calls he received to initiate a manual response to the crisis at hand, we went into deeper conversation about one event in particular.
How can you reduce that critical period of time - from recognizing an actionable incident to initiating a comprehensive set of response actions? How can you ensure that the right people receive the right information in a matter of minutes - or even seconds? Automation. In this article, published in the most recent Critical Mass Magazine, we explain how adopting an automated, scenario-based approach can help improve the efficiency of your response plans.