Inova Upgrades Mass Notification System for Campuses
- By Dian Schaffhauser
Inova Solutions, which sells emergency message displays, has upgraded its visual mass notification system, Inova OnAlert. The enhanced system offers e-mail-based message delivery, audible tones to complement visual messages, and a synchronized timekeeping function. The new OnAlert system allows authorized campus safety personnel to send a concise e-mail to a designated e-mail address. The body of the e-mail message then scrolls across multiple Power over Ethernet (PoE) message boards on campus.
OnAlert's e-mail message delivery function can be configured to work simultaneously with other e-mail and SMS/text messaging systems. "It is vital that multiple notification modes work well together," said Berkly Trumbo, director of emergency communication systems at Inova. "Emergency situations are no time to juggle multiple message delivery systems and cumbersome procedures. OnAlert allows the same e-mail message that triggers text messages and traditional mass e-mails to also display on LED signs throughout campus.".
Among other recent improvements to OnAlert is the ability to play a brief audible tone when a new emergency message is displayed on the signs to call attention to the display.
When not in use for emergency messaging, the displays show the time and date, which eliminates the need for a standalone clock at each display location. The time and date display can be overridden in order to broadcast non-emergency messages such as routine event announcements or bus schedules. If an emergency arises, high-priority messages will override all non-emergency and time and date messaging.
The displays are in use at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg,
Dian Schaffhauser is a senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal and Campus Technology. She can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter @schaffhauser.