16-Jan-2019

Our mass notification solution supports message delivery to multiple devices for real-time mass reach and enables recipients to respond if they are safe.

Campus Safety and Crisis Management – Mass Notification

Over the summer, I attended a wedding reception in a hotel. The bride was stunningly beautiful, the reception atmosphere, perfect!  We were seated and greeting the wedding party when a loud chirping sound alerted us of an emergency. Everyone was on full alert and moved purposely to the doors. However, once outside the reception, we were unsure which way to flee.

It was at that moment that I realized how important mass notification is during a time of crisis.

When we heard the alarm, we followed the first person out the door, blindly thinking they knew where they were going. It never occurred to us that they could be heading toward the problem.

As it turned out, we evacuated safely. The alarm was due to a sensor detecting a smoky grease fire in the kitchen. No one was injured and we were back at the wedding celebration in about 30 minutes. But, we were lucky. Without specific instructions, the outcome could have been far different.

Similar to large hotels, school campuses are often made up of a conglomerate of buildings, parking garages, courtyards, and dormitories. This can be disorienting and confusing to students, staff, faculty, and visitors on a normal, calm day. Imagine the chaos that can arise during an emergency event.

Campus safety banner 1c resized for blog body

There have been many lessons learned regarding communication during on-campus emergency events, both man-made and natural disasters.

• Notification systems can and will fail.

• Multiple notification mechanisms are necessary for mass reach.

• Real-time notification is difficult, especially across dispersed environments.

• Localized, central control of security technology is necessary.

As a result, Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise has created a campus safety and crisis management platform that addresses the three stages of a crisis – awareness, collaboration and coordination with first responders, and mass notification.

Our mass notification solution supports message delivery to multiple devices for real-time mass reach, such as digital signage, outdoor/overhead paging systems, campus TV, desktop pop-ups, desk phone speakers, and mobile device apps. In addition to sending notifications, the mobile application enables message recipients to respond if they are safe.

Location based services are also a central component of the solution. With LBS enabled, the institution has visibility into how many people are in harm’s way. Furthermore, mobile phone geofencing allows for discrete messages to the mobile devices of those people who are in the same building or location as the event, while broadcasting a different message to everyone else.

Finally, communicating with those outside the institution is important, especially for the parents of K-12 students. Parents and neighbors can receive updates via the same mobile application, eliminating unofficial news and rumors.

In a time of crisis knowledge is everything. Mass notification is the final step in resolving a campus crisis and providing a safe learning environment.

Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise provides the tools for emergency event awareness, coordination and collaboration with first responders, and multimodal mass notification to the campus and community.

If you’d like to learn more about our campus safety and crisis management solutions, please visit the links for podcasts, brochures, white papers, customer references, and thought leadership videos.

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About the author
Greg Kovich photo for blog author page

Greg Kovich

Global Sales Lead, Education Vertical

Greg Kovich leads global sales for ALE’s Education vertical.  Greg has overseen or created several Education solutions including “The Fundamentals of Communications” – a vendor neutral course on digital network communications; “Safe Campus” – a solution uniting emergency alerts with first responder collaboration and mass notification; “Secure Campus” – a solution that allows instructors to limit student network access to determined sites; and “Pandemic Education Continuity” – a solution that enables classroom instruction in the event the institution is closed due to health or environmental crisis. 

He is a 1992 graduate of Indiana University with over 20 yrs experience in Information Technology.

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