• Register at orientation: Institutions should promote emergency alert systems aggressively to students and parents during orientation (for freshmen and new students) and move-in days (for upperclassmen) to move closer to full campus participation.
  • Recruit the professors: Faculty are key to ensuring the entire campus is aware of and participates in an institution’s emergency alert system. Administrators should reach out to faculty specifically and encourage them to promote participation with their students.
  • Apply parental pressure: Consider how the institution will transmit information to parents during a crisis. Enable parents to sign up for alerts, which can result in higher student participation.
  • Market aggressively: Institutions should regularly review their alert systems and enhance their outreach programs to encourage greater participation in the community.

In an emergency situation, where time is of the essence, institutions need to deliver critical information to students, faculty, and staff.

By harnessing a full range of traditional and newer communication options, institutions have the ability to reach the community immediately with critical information wherever they are.

Houston Thomas is the public safety business development manager for CDW Government Inc.