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Columbia College Ramps Up Crisis Management

South Carolina's Columbia College has adopted an application for maintaining plans related to emergency management. The 1,500-student institution has begun using NaviGate from Lauren Innovations as single source for critical information. The college will start its implementation by scanning each campus building plan floor by floor, including GPS coordinates, and noting the existence of emergency features such as call boxes, fire extinguishers, and emergency exits. The current work is focusing on facilities and science departments that maintain hazardous materials.

"We are living in a time in which it is imperative to have instant access to our critical information," said campus Police Chief Howard Cook. "All of our campus police vehicles are equipped with Web-enabled computers, so the scope of what this system can do has phenomenal impact on our daily operations."

The college crisis management team, which includes representatives from administration, food service, and facilities, is interested in the incident management system, Cook said, because it allows them to access emergency planning information and monitor campus incidents and their followup. He added that the school will also use a learning management module in the software to track Columbia's emergency-and compliance-related staff training requirements.

After the floor plans have been scanned and uploaded into NaviGate, the annotation process will begin. The program can link to documents that are housed in a secure document management system, as well as live camera links or stored video with training procedures, such as how to turn on the emergency generators.

NaviGate is a Web-based service for storing, creating, and sharing reports, plans, and other materials and resources related to emergency management and incident response. It's also in use at Gustavus Adolphus College in Saint Peter, MN and James Madison University in Harrisonburg, VA, among other institutions.

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a writer who covers technology and business for a number of publications. Contact her at dian@dischaffhauser.com.

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