When Seconds Count: Bolstering Schools’ Crisis Response Plan with Custom Notifications
From natural disasters and adverse weather to criminal activity in the area, schools are challenged to develop emergency response protocols for a range of situations. And sadly, recent events involving shootings on school campuses across the country underscore the importance of developing unique, sophisticated critical communication strategies to various scenarios.
In 2018, Education Week recorded that there were 24 school shootings with injuries or deaths in the United States with 114 people killed or injured during a school shooting. The Journal of Emergency Medical Services indicates that the average response time for emergency responders in these situations is approximately 10 minutes, but the most critical events are over in less than five minutes.
With time being paramount in emergency situations, schools’ crisis response plans need to have the most up-to-date protocols and technologies in place to ensure information and notifications are immediately circulated. With adequate research, planning and preparation, education facility managers can prevent illness and injury, minimize property damage and increase survivability when a crisis situation arises.
Clarity and Consistency Prevent Miscommunications
Schools have different evacuation and lockdown plans to address various emergency situations, and they should take a similarly custom approach to how they communicate those plans in times of emergency. Recent research from John Leach, a military survival instructor who researches behavior in extreme environments at the University of Portsmouth, shows that nearly 75% of people in life-threatening circumstances are so bewildered by the situation that they are unable to make decisions that could save their lives.
That’s why there is a vital need for clear, consistent and synchronized messaging to indicate whether students and staff need to evacuate, assemble or remain where they are on lockdown when they might be mentally paralyzed by the ordeal.
Visual Notifications Approach Enhances Safety
To cascade critical updates, visual cues ensure that not only those with visual or hearing impairments are informed of emergencies and receive directions quickly, but also that messages go through in noisy and busy environments where audible alerts may be hard to understand, such as hallways, cafeterias and gymnasiums.
Advanced notification technology, such as OneVue Notify InfoBoards, brings visual notifications to schools’ emergency response plans. Notify InfoBoards are bright, networked, low-power displays that can show high-resolution custom messages, critical alerts and synchronized time. Using cloud-based software, it allows schools to tailor the wording, scroll speed and colors of alerts to more successfully share urgent updates. In addition, Notify InfoBoards have auditing capabilities, so that after an event is activated, it can send proactive alerts to indicate low, lost signal to InfoBoard and provide post-incident reports to validate what type and when a critical notification was triggered.
In addition, education facility managers can customize visual alerts to ensure students, teachers and staff are receiving the right information at the right time. With the proven technology of OneVue’s 72MHz transmitter, visual messaging through Notify InfoBoards helps schools disseminate messages customized to different locations throughout a building or campus in seconds rather than minutes, reaching more people, more quickly.
Whether a critical fire, weather emergency or intruder, varying elements of the OneVue Notify InfoBoards can help distinguish the severity of events and help students and staff understand quickly what they need to do, providing more direct communication and bolstering safety overall.
For more information about how you can help strengthen your school’s response plans, visit www.primexinc.com/education.