He advises managers to ask, "Is it reaching the intended audience? Is it cost effective? What is the time involved to create a response? What kind of technical support is involved? What percentage of people are taking advantage of the system? And, of course, what is the cost?"
Choosing the seemingly "best tool" isn't enough. The target audience of an institution's emergency notification system, or its combination of technologies, should be informed and educated on what the system does, how the system does it, when a message will be sent and what the message may say.
Turner adds, "The public perception of how we notify people in an emergency and what precautions to take is going to be driven by the technology and public perception."
Editor's note: Additional information on the Campus Law Enforcement Emergency Response Act can be found at durbin.senate.gov. Further information on the WARN Act can be found at thomas.loc.gov. More information on the Jeanne Clery Act can be found at www.securityoncampus.org.Emergency notification opportunities
The Campus Law Enforcement Emergency Response Act authorizes the Department of Education to administer a competitive grant program for the development and improvement of response and procedures. Many companies have developed unique solutions for agencies, universities and colleges. The technologies offered can be broken into seven categories: e-mail; mobile text messaging; sirens; computer pop-ups; digital signs; loudspeakers; and telephone voice messages. The following sample-list of companies each offers a different solution to the emergency notification system:
|Alterus Emergency Warning System||www.alertustech.com|
|Code Blue Corp.||www.codeblue.com|
|Dialogic Communications Corp.||www.dccusa.com|
|Emergency Communications Network||www.coderedweb.com|