Campus installs advanced emergency notification system

A new system of beacons and a computer software program are being installed at the University of Missouri (MU) to create an advanced notification system and help quickly get the word out during emergencies.

The new notification system will cost more than $400,000.

About 225 beacons are being installed in high-traffic areas across MU’s campus, home to more than 34,000 students.

They use strobes and sounds to get people’s attention, and then alert messages will be displayed on a screen, university spokesman Christian Basi said.

The university is in the process of wiring buildings and getting everything prepared so the beacons can be installed, The Columbia Daily Tribune reported. The project will cost about $436,750, Basi said.

The university also has been working on a program that will allow specific administrators to take over computer screens to display alert messages, said Terry Robb, director of information technology.

“We will use our Blackboard mass notification system to write the message that goes to phones, and we have a special channel that we’re going to configure that will force the message we write in Blackboard to be posted to Alertus notification,” Robb said.

Both systems are provided by Alertus Technologies and send messages created through the university’s new mass alert provider, BlackBoard Connect.

See Page 2 for more ways colleges use technology to prepare for emergencies…

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