The “Presidential Alert” that millions of cell phones in the United States received at approximately 2:18 PM EDT on 3 October 2018 was a nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System (EAS) and the Wireless Emergency Alert (WEA) system.
It’s that time of the year again when universities, colleges, and K-12 schools open up their doors for their students and staff. With students coming back, the safety of everyone on campus is a big issue. Emergency communication is more important than ever on any campus. The goal of any organization is to ensure that your mass notification reaches every person through multiple routes. This is especially important when there are children or students involved. There’s never a 100% chance that someone has their mobile phone on them at all times, so you must use other methods to reach your people. In the world of IoT, this multimodal approach is increasingly easy to implement and initiate.
Safety isn’t simply a state of being. Safety is a way of life and a goal that each of us strives to reach. Not only for us, but also for our families, schools, and the organizations we work. To be legally compliant, organizations must create an emergency response and action plan for their organization. It is their responsibility to be prepared for emergency scenarios that could possibly happen to their organization - and notify their constituents. In this day, we all expect to be notified should an emergency occur.
After an active shooter incident occurs, much of the tough work is still left to be completed. An incident like this has most likely affected the entire community, and it will likely take the entire community to recover. Recovery might include hospitals, grief counselors, employee assistance, and more.
In 2008, colleges were still scrambling to acquire an Emergency Notification System (ENS) to send mass text messages to their students. It was just over a year from the horrific Virginia Tech massacre that refocused the world’s priorities on the importance of campus safety and taking proactive measures to prevent a recurrence - on any campus.
No organization wants to think about the day that an emergency might happen at their facilities, especially an active shooter crisis, but it is something that each organization must prepare. Not only is mass emergency preparation a legal obligation, but most would argue that it is a moral one. You want to keep your people informed and out of harm’s way. If there’s an emergency, people expect to be notified and provided the guidance to remain safe. There are many alerts that we have grown accustomed to receiving such as weather alerts, Amber or Silver Alerts, or even local emergency alerts. So, if there’s an active shooter emergency in the vicinity, people expect to be alerted in a similar fashion.