At this point most campuses have multiple methods of communicating with students during an emergency. Emergency messages can be delivered to students’ phones, reaching those students who are actively using their phone, or have it on and nearby.
Most colleges and universities have branded “ALERTS” systems (think “VT ALERTS” at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia). These website alerting methods push emergency notifications to desktops for students who are working online.
The gap in this approach becomes apparent when you realize that a number of instructors today require phone silence during classes, or even want the device “put away”. In lecture halls and labs, where there are no desktops in use, this presents another problem. Neither the text messaging or desktop alerting approach can work in these cases. Students and teachers are effectively left in the dark.
To compound the problem, every campus has any number of visitors. Without access to either form of emergency notification discussed above, these visitors are prime targets for hostile intruders, approaching tornados, gas leaks and other facility emergencies. Imagine the panic that could ensue when some of the campus population is informed with a call to action, and the rest is confused and without direction.
With the simple installation of one or more visual emergency messaging devices a greater number of stakeholders can be reached – without taking precious time to re-enter the message to be delivered. LED signage can be viewed at great distances and from wide angles. Emergency notifications can be distributed without extra effort and can guide viewers to safety or shelter quickly and eliminate confusion. Lives might be saved.