6 steps to better emergency preparedness on campus

Typical campus alert systems deliver 125-character text messages or less. Telling people to shelter in place or meet at a reunification site is not enough. Providing clear guidelines and instructions to students, faculty, and staff before and during a situation offers a simple and effective way to mitigate damage and loss of life.

6. Make it easy to report incidents.

During a situation, getting timely and firsthand information greatly assists first responders and other emergency personnel in providing the right response.

While Blue Light Emergency Phones have been a popular and expensive approach, the adoption of smart phones on campuses has made it easier for students and staff to report incidents. Overnight, a large campus can expand beyond hundreds of Blue Light Emergency Phones to utilize tens of thousands of smart phones to support this service.

This subtle but important change offers campuses reduced investment, more intelligent routing, better analysis of outcomes, and quicker responses—not to mention improved reporting compliance with the Clery Act.

Taking these simple steps can greatly increase the level of safety and security on college campuses.

Furthermore, it provides an opportunity to activate and empower students, faculty, and staff to better respond to crisis situations, which will help institutions and their communities reduce the potential damage and make a quicker recovery.

Christopher Britton is the general manager for In Case of Crisis and brings years of expertise and passion for solving real-life problems with creative and intuitive technology solutions. He has a long history of working with education, business, hospitality, and government clients, spanning companies like Rosetta Stone, Vocus, Visual Mining, and Interfolio.