Sam Houston State University’s KatSafe emergency notification system is fully operational. But if a disaster were to hit today, or next week as is the possibility with Hurricane Gustav, only one out of every eight SHSU faculty, staff and students would be in the loop for emergency messages.
Despite e-mails, signups during orientation, and news releases, only 2,283 SHSU students, faculty and staff have registered.
To sign up, students, faculty and staff should go to the SamWeb menu from the SHSU home page. They are then be asked to log in and after doing so will see a page with a link to the KatSafe online signup form.
“This is a great system, and a lot of work has gone into getting it set up,” said Frank Parker, the SHSU vice president who led a task force effort to create the program. “But it won’t do us any good if we don’t have good contact information.”
KatSafe will enable SHSU to schedule, send, and track personalized voice messages to up to six phone numbers per person, and immediately send messages via four different modes of communication:
“This system could be critical should we face any situation, from weather closing to an act of terrorism on campus,” said Parker. “We don’t like to think about bad things happening, but they have elsewhere and they could here, and we should be ready.”
Sam Houston State contracted with the NTI Group, Inc. to use the company's Connect-ED service, which is being used by more than 150 campuses throughout the United States. The service provides campus leaders and security professionals the ability to reach students with information and updates during unforeseen events or emergencies, within minutes, through phone calls, e-mails and/or text messages.
"Today we are forced to prepare for situations that we never could have anticipated happening and recognize the important role that immediate communication plays in keeping students safe," said Jim Gaertner, SHSU president.
Contact information provided to the KatSafe system will only be used for campus emergency notifications and will not be made available for any other use.
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