The two hours it took for Virginia Tech officials to eMail students a warning about a gunman on campus have raised the question of how schools can get critical news out faster in a crisis--and how technology can help.

"When you're in the middle of something, two hours is not very long. But when you're looking in, it does seem like a long time," says Mitchell Celaya, the assistant chief of campus police at the University of California, Berkeley.

At UC Berkeley, Celaya says an extreme emergency would warrant, among other things, a siren on an outdoor public address system, followed by


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