Mass Notifications | News
Omnilert Adds One-Click Emergency Response
- By Dian Schaffhauser
Next week at two education conferences Omnilert will be demonstrating a new one-click broadcast function for its mass notification systems. Scenario Manager, as the new feature is called, allows an e2Campus or Amerilert customer to build multiple scenarios that with a click will send out a conference call, distribute different messages via multiple means to different groups, and request status or feedback if necessary.
"In an emergency, time is critical and Scenario Manager makes it easy to respond quickly, without the emotion of a crisis because you are able to create the messages and carefully plan the communication steps ahead of time," said Elon University CIO Chris Fulkerson. "This is definitely something any organization could use. It makes the process much quicker. And, it takes the stress out of composing all the messages to all the various groups during what is typically a very stressful time."
Elon U has been an Omnilert customer since 2007.
"In the calm of your office, you pre-program everything for when things get hectic," added Robert Buchholz, assistant vice president for facilities management and head of the North Carolina school's emergency response team.
In the event of an active shooter on campus, for example, the administrator could click a button on the application dashboard, which will start a multi-stage communication process: a secure outbound conference call to the emergency team, a text message and phone call to local first responders, and a personal notification by text, phone, and email to the campus community. At the same time, a mass notification could be pushed out to the institution's Web site, computer desktops, campus TVs, digital signage, and social media pages, as well as to public alert systems to instruct people to shelter in place until notified otherwise.
"The ability to click one button and send different messages to the campus community and emergency responders allows for less chaos in an emergency, and helps mitigate a situation much faster," said Scott Jean, Elon's chief of security.
Dian Schaffhauser is a senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal and Campus Technology. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @schaffhauser.