Company claim: Emergency alerts get to students in 20 seconds

Universities have failed in recent years to send alerts to students.

A two-inch keychain might be the solution for campus officials hoping to avoid public scrutiny next time their emergency text messages hit a logjam and don’t reach student and faculty cell phones.

IntelliGuard Systems’ RavenAlert, which provides the campus community with a keychain that rings when it receives an emergency message, avoids delays by sending thousands of messages over a private wireless network.

So instead of connecting to a myriad of mobile devices – all with different internet protocol addresses – the RavenAlert system sends the college’s alert to thousands of keychains with the same address.

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Not getting the (text) message

And the message is usually received in less than 20 seconds, said Roy Pottle, chairman and CEO of Intelliguard Systems.

Text messaging bottlenecks won’t just cause delays in the first emergency notification, security experts said, but make it nearly impossible for campus officials to send updates about shooting or developing weather emergencies.

“If you’re relying on text messages as [a notification system], your student is walking into harm’s way,” said Pottle, whose company works with six campuses, including the University of Southern California (USC) in Los Angeles. “It’s not just the initial message, but the ability to send out information as it occurs in an emergency.”