An exclusive app you can’t afford to miss


The campus emergency app designed to simplify and improve students’ crisis response is officially no longer higher education’s best kept secret.

crisis-app-blackboard

In Case of Crisis, which eCampus News highlighted in our Innovation Corner back in April, announced a partnership with leading learning management system (LMS) company Blackboard, which will now integrate the innovative app into its mobile platform known as Mosaic.

The app, a subscription based service for colleges and universities, condenses a school’s myriad emergency notifications and response protocol into a single, easy-to-use mobile app that can be accessed from any mobile device.

Think of In Case of Crisis as one-stop shopping for students — and faculty — facing weather emergencies, campus shootings, fires, and other life-threatening scenarios that have specific protocol.

Around 100 colleges and universities use the In Case of Crisis app, paying a wide range of subscription prices, according to the company.

College students using Blackboard’s Mosaic platform can now receive push notifications and alerts from In Case of Crisis, along with campus emergency procedures that can be reviewed with the click of a button. Students can also send incident reports with a GPS locator and picture attachments — a potentially preventative piece of the crisis app.

Chris Britton, general manager of the Virginia-based In Case of Crisis, said the app serves as a sort of easily accessible library of emergency information. It can be most helpful, he said, during emergencies that aren’t typically grouped with those that make the evening news.

(Next page: The campus crises most often overlooked by students and faculty)

“Alcohol and drug abuse and mental health emergencies are situations that are not always at the forefront of every emergency plan like an active shooter or evacuation, but they are commonly included in plans and often found very helpful by students and other users [of the app],” Britton said.

Accessing information on the In Case of Crisis app doesn’t require an internet connection, meaning students and campus employees could read through protocols even if a storm knocked out the campus network. Britton said that was a key functionality in designing a crisis mobile tool for college campuses.

“In Case of Crisis gives us the ability to put our emergency plans and training into the hands of our community members for instant access,” said Mike Lefever, associate director for Emergency Management, Department of Public Safety, at University of North Dakota. “It also enables us to leverage technology for safety hazard reporting to our Operations Center so that we can keep our campus safe.  The integration into our University app via Blackboard also allows more community members to have access to this information.”

Pete Amico, director of the Office of Emergency Management at Rowan University in Glassboro, N.J., said 500 of the school’s 11,000 students had downloaded the In Case of Crisis app in the first few months after the school announced adoption of the app.

“It provides a lot of flexibility for us, and that’s what we were looking for,” Amico said, adding that the app’s push notifications let the university warn students of oncoming storms last year. “We needed better access. That’s what we got.”