In a time where tragedies such as Columbine, the Washington D.C. sniper, and the shooting over in Newtown, Connecticut are becoming frighteningly commonplace, it’s not a surprise that many universities have gone the extra mile to ensure that their students have a system in place if something similar were to occur.
Some schools have classroom-wide intercom systems, automatic lockdown of all doors within a building, a text messaging service, and a mobile application all designed to inform as many faculty and students as possible of a current security breach.
Most recently, the University of New Haven, a private university in Connecticut, took advantage of a mobile application called Everbridge to let students know of a lockdown after reports that someone was on campus armed. The application allowed them to do a university-wide lock down all while alerting students, faculty, and other staff members to find shelter and not to move until further notice.
The mobile alert continued to alert the scared residents on campus with follow up messages and alerts sent almost every hour as the police searched the grounds.
"With Everbridge, you don't have to be locked to a computer to use it, and if something should happen, you don't have to have a network connection to send messages," said Imad Mouline, chief technology officer at Everbridge. "It's web-based, you can have it on your smartphone or tablet, and send a message to multiple contact paths in seconds to improve emergency response."
Mouline said within seconds the message went out to almost everyone on campus causing a full lockdown within minutes.
"I've never had a need to use the mobile application prior to this. I never had a circumstance where I needed to utilize it," said Ronald Quagliani, the University's associate vice president of public safety and administrative services. "I'm sure glad I had it on my phone…if we didn't have the app on the phone, or the training to use the app, it could have been a totally different situation."
Edited by Cassandra Tucker
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