SHSU Adds New Emergency Communication Method
Feb. 15, 2013
SHSU Media Contact: Julia May
Sam Houston State University has added an additional communication tool to its emergency response system.
The Alertus Emergency Notification system is connected to the other parts of the university’s crisis communication portals, which include KatSafe phone and text messages, email, social media, loud speakers and information on the SHSU webpage.
In the event of an emergency, campus managed computers may receive a pop-up message that fills their entire screen mirroring messaging from KatSafe. Messages sent by the system appear on the desktop and either expire after a specified time or require the user to click an “acknowledge” button.
Anyone using an IT@Sam managed computer will instantly know when communication about a hazardous situation has been issued.
“We are always looking for ways to enhance our communication methods for appropriate messaging and timely alerts,” said Mark Adams, vice president for information technology at SHSU.
“This particular program adds one more level to our multi-modal alerting system to notify the university community of pending or current emergency situations and to provide instructions for action,” he said.
Alertus also helps in the classrooms where computers are turned on and students have been asked to turn their cell phones off.
“We wanted an additional method of communication that didn’t conflict with the typical teaching environment,” said Adams.
Off-campus users who are networked into the SHSU system and receive the Alertus message should note that warnings going out over the system might not necessarily apply to their current location. Effort will be taken to be as specific as possible about warnings.
SHSU will test the Alertus system in conjunction with the campus siren test at 10:55 a.m. on the first Monday of each month.
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