Monday, August 06, 2007

New Emergency Notification System

Middlebury College has signed off on a new emergency notification system provided by MessageOne, a company based out of Austin, TX. In the wake of events at Virginia Tech this past year, administrators at Midd have been worried that in the case of a crisis, Middlebury would be unprepared. So, while looking into options for real-time text-messaging, voicemail, email, etc. to push emergency notices to students, the admin asked students to provide cell phone numbers starting next year (oh, and note next year your midd landline number doesn't move with you when you move dorm rooms...). Now, the college will have use for all those cell phone numbers.

MessageOne press release:

"When an incident occurs, Middlebury crisis managers will be able to quickly and automatically send important notifications to affected community members. As long as the recipient has access to a landline, text messaging device, cell phone or email, they can receive an emergency notification anywhere around the world. The system, which can differentiate between a real person and voice mail, is able to deliver a spoken electronic or recorded message and even ask questions such as “Are you okay?” in the event of a crisis. These responses will be available to crisis managers in real-time."
Well, in some cases, "are you okay?" is not quite the best question to be asking. But it's a start. I have a feeling more inclement weather notices are going to go out than anything else. Just hope Public Safety's notoriously awful "safety bulletins" don't get distributed via this new system.

Oh and I was really hoping for what President Liebowitz wrote in an April 20th email: "We are also considering the possibility of installing old-fashioned sirens." Can we have sirens too? Please?

No comments:

on the books...