The shootings at Virginia Tech and other school campuses have shown us the need for instant communications with faculty, staff and students when the unthinkable occurs. How does your notification system measure up to the task of communicating with your constituents in today's world? Here are some systems which are worth a closer look.
"The 3n mass notification system transforms the speed and the very way communication is accomplished. 3n customers use InstaCom for routine, urgent and emergency communications - and can rapidly contact small or a large groups through any (or all) of their members' available communication paths."
3n (National Notification Network) was chosen by Virgina Tech to be the provider of the university's instant communications system known as VT Alerts.
One of several K-12 school message services, AlertNow provides schools of all sizes the kind of features and services you need to keep your community informed.
"Anchored in the Oracle database, Amcom e.Notify is an enterprise notification system supporting a multitude of devices, protocols and rules. Providing robust features for 'closing the loop' by automatically capturing responses and determining if subsequent notifications are required, it is the ideal emergency alert software."
"e2Campus is a self-service, web-based, mass notification system that empowers a school to send instant alerts to all students, faculty & staff's cell phone, email, pager & web page automatically all at once from one easy-to-use interface."
"The Connect-ED service offers a bundled set of emergency communication, survey, and community outreach notification tools designed to help schools at all levels improve awareness, increase involvement, and audit communication on a regular basis."
"Rapid deployment of emergency information can ONLY be efficiently handled by a Voice Notification System. Casual electronic devices such as cell phones and PDA's are NOT satisfactory for quickly communicating emergency and/or critical information to large numbers of people."
"School World's E-News Communication system allows you to electronically reach your community with updates, important reminders, emergency notifications or school-related information via email or cell phone text messaging."
"Honeywell Instant Alert® helps you prepare, practice and respond with a lightning quick web-based communication service. No hardware, software or numerous phone-lines are needed. Instant Alert is a fully hosted, redundant and secure service that can send up to 100,000 30 second messages in 15 minutes. Our annual service includes set-up, training, support, and unlimited messaging."
"If there is a crisis on campus, how will you communicate with students, faculty, and other members of your community? Do you have a crisis communication plan and a fail-proof system in place to get your message delivered to everyone? Most campuses unfortunately do not have a robust notification system that incorporates current contact information for every member of their community and the ability to immediately notify thousands in the event of a crisis."
"Notify Express makes it easy to contact groups of customers, church or club members, parents of students, and more. It puts you in the driver's seat with user-friendly features that let you create messages, manage campaigns, monitor results, and from any location. Send your messages with a wide variety of methods per your preferences: phone, email, pager, and more."
This from Dr. John Hoover the developer of Schoohoo:
My wife and I have developed a new system that offers free school alerts to schools of any size. We are programmers and web developers and general computer geeks - with kids in elementary school. We've started Schoohoo as a not-for-profit organization offering free school alerts for any size school, any grade level "from PreSchool to Ph.D."
The only downside that I can see is that the recipient of the alert will have to endure some kind of advertising message as well as the alert. Notwithstanding that this sounds like a good service for small schools and any school which needs a service like this or has a limited budget.
"VoiceShot's Urgent Alert service allows you to instantly deliver thousands of interactive phone calls with ease while managing the entire process from your secure VoiceShot subscriber account."