Timely Emergency Notification Systems

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Information about Timely Emergency Notification Systems

Published on January 26, 2009

Author: monacofamily

Source: slideshare.net

Description

Briefing given to lay out options for low cost SMS messaging systems for Pace University, NY

“ Timely” Emergency Notification Systems for our Mobile Pace University Community DoIT, Security, Student Affairs, University Relations [email_address] 1

Why Is “Timely” Emergency Notification Service Needed? “ Timely” emergency notification can provide a mechanism for campus authorities to provide guidance while an emergency is ongoing, including both: information about the nature of the emergency actions which the community can take, such as: avoid a particular area of campus lock down/shelter in place be on the lookout for/report the location of a missing child, disoriented elderly person, escaped convict, etc evacuate a particular building, etc. Need to be aware of campus "timely” warning obligations imposed by The Clery Act . 2

“ Timely” emergency notification can provide a mechanism for campus authorities to provide guidance while an emergency is ongoing, including both:

information about the nature of the emergency

actions which the community can take, such as:

avoid a particular area of campus

lock down/shelter in place

be on the lookout for/report the location of a missing child, disoriented elderly person, escaped convict, etc

evacuate a particular building, etc.

Need to be aware of campus "timely” warning obligations imposed by The Clery Act .

The Clery Act Federal law enacted 1990 (subsequently amended in 1992, 1998 and 2000), following the murder and sexual assault of Jeanne Clery, a freshman at Lehigh University, and the discovery that campus had not been apprised of 38 violent crimes on campus in the 3 years preceding that attack. Applies to all institutions receiving Federal Title IV student financial aid funds (e.g., virtually all of higher ed) The Department of Education is charged with enforcement Penalties include fines of $27,500/incident, and may even include revocation of institutional permission to participate in all federal student financial aid programs Clery Act Handbook available from Department of Education at http://www.ed.gov/admins/lead/safety/handbook.pdf The Clery Act includes a "timely” warning provision for specific enumerated crimes. 3

Federal law enacted 1990 (subsequently amended in 1992, 1998 and 2000), following the murder and sexual assault of Jeanne Clery, a freshman at Lehigh University, and the discovery that campus had not been apprised of 38 violent crimes on campus in the 3 years preceding that attack.

Applies to all institutions receiving Federal Title IV student financial aid funds (e.g., virtually all of higher ed)

The Department of Education is charged with enforcement

Penalties include fines of $27,500/incident, and may even include revocation of institutional permission to participate in all federal student financial aid programs

Clery Act Handbook available from Department of Education at http://www.ed.gov/admins/lead/safety/handbook.pdf

The Clery Act includes a "timely” warning provision for specific enumerated crimes.

“ Timely” Warning: 34cfr668.46(e) (1) An institution must, in a manner that is timely and will aid in the prevention of similar crimes , report to the campus community on crimes that are-- (i) Described in paragraph (c)(1) and (3) of this section; (ii) Reported to campus security authorities as identified under the institution's statement of current campus policies pursuant to paragraph (b)(2) of this section or local police agencies; and (iii) Considered by the institution to represent a threat to students and employees . (2) An institution is not required to provide a “timely” warning with respect to crimes reported to a pastoral or professional counselor. 4

(1) An institution must, in a manner that is timely and will aid in the prevention of similar crimes , report to the campus community on crimes that are--

(i) Described in paragraph (c)(1) and (3) of this section;

(ii) Reported to campus security authorities as identified under the institution's statement of current campus policies pursuant to paragraph (b)(2) of this section or local police agencies; and

(iii) Considered by the institution to represent a threat to students and employees .

(2) An institution is not required to provide a “timely” warning with respect to crimes reported to a pastoral or professional counselor.

“ Timely” Communications Quoting from PDF pages 75-76 of the ED Clery Act Handbook: "By now you are probably asking, "What do you mean by 'timely'?" and "How do you expect me to alert everyone?" Neither the Clery Act nor ED define "timely." The warning should be issued as soon as the pertinent information is available because the intent of a timely warning is to alert the campus community of continuing threats especially concerning safety, thereby enabling community members to protect themselves. [emphasis added] "Although the format for the warning has not been mandated, the notice must be timely and reasonably likely to reach the entire campus community and aid in the prevention of similar crimes. Therefore, timely warnings must be issued in a manner that gets the word out quickly communitywide. They may be e-mailed, posted around campus, or otherwise distributed according to your institution’s policy. A combination of dissemination methods may be used. Timely warnings may not be issued in a manner or posted in a location that requires the campus community to make requests for them or to search for them. The responsibility for the warning rests solely with the institution.” 5

Quoting from PDF pages 75-76 of the ED Clery Act Handbook:

"By now you are probably asking, "What do you mean by 'timely'?" and "How do you expect me to alert everyone?" Neither the Clery Act nor ED define "timely." The warning should be issued as soon as the pertinent information is available because the intent of a timely warning is to alert the campus community of continuing threats especially concerning safety, thereby enabling community members to protect themselves. [emphasis added]

"Although the format for the warning has not been mandated, the notice must be timely and reasonably likely to reach the entire campus community and aid in the prevention of similar crimes. Therefore, timely warnings must be issued in a manner that gets the word out quickly communitywide. They may be e-mailed, posted around campus, or otherwise distributed according to your institution’s policy. A combination of dissemination methods may be used. Timely warnings may not be issued in a manner or posted in a location that requires the campus community to make requests for them or to search for them. The responsibility for the warning rests solely with the institution.”

Technology Overview “ Timely” Emergency Notification Systems allow Pace University to disseminate information to a large number of people in small amount of time. Depending on solution chosen, can be a combination of: Voice Message E-mail Text Message Posting on electronic web-based bulletin board and/or feed to ‘channel’ on MyPace Portal Interface to send messages is an easy to use web site. Ability to segregate Pace population into groups and target messages to specific groups. We currently have ONLY blast email, blast voice mail to offices/resident halls land line phones, and PA systems in all Pace Residence Halls (and 1 Pace Plaza offices/classrooms) Have to be in the residence hall to use the PA system No PAs for other than 1 PP or all Pace Residence Halls 6

“ Timely” Emergency Notification Systems allow Pace University to disseminate information to a large number of people in small amount of time.

Depending on solution chosen, can be a combination of:

Voice Message

E-mail

Text Message

Posting on electronic web-based bulletin board and/or feed to ‘channel’ on MyPace Portal

Interface to send messages is an easy to use web site.

Ability to segregate Pace population into groups and target messages to specific groups.

We currently have ONLY blast email, blast voice mail to offices/resident halls land line phones, and PA systems in all Pace Residence Halls (and 1 Pace Plaza offices/classrooms)

Have to be in the residence hall to use the PA system

No PAs for other than 1 PP or all Pace Residence Halls

Definitions SMS – Short Message Service Allows messages of no more than 160 characters to be sent to cell phones, a.k.a. “Text Messaging”. Two ways to use: SMTP - emails as [email_address] SMPP – Cell Phone Carrier SMS protocol (messages purchased in bulk) Opt-In Requires users to visit a web site, enter information and express their desire to receive messages from a service. Users can indicate which ‘groups’ they would like to join. 7

SMS – Short Message Service

Allows messages of no more than 160 characters to be sent to cell phones, a.k.a. “Text Messaging”.

Two ways to use:

SMTP - emails as [email_address]

SMPP – Cell Phone Carrier SMS protocol (messages purchased in bulk)

Opt-In

Requires users to visit a web site, enter information and express their desire to receive messages from a service. Users can indicate which ‘groups’ they would like to join.

Possible uses of “Timely” Emergency Notification Technology Emergencies Natural Disasters Crime on Campus School Closings Advisories Parking Events Maintenance Room Changes Instructor Communications Change Announcements Exam Schedules & Reminders Appointment Reminders Registration, Payment, Application, Advisor Meetings, etc. 8

Emergencies

Natural Disasters

Crime on Campus

School Closings

Advisories

Parking

Events

Maintenance

Room Changes

Instructor Communications

Change Announcements

Exam Schedules & Reminders

Appointment Reminders

Registration, Payment, Application, Advisor Meetings, etc.

Advantages Ability to send out pertinent information in short amount of time. Most students/staff/faculty carry cell phones – they are already familiar with the technology. Gets the message to the community quicker. Multiple means of communication – Broadcast voice calls/e-mail/text message/voice mail/online feed. Most options (except Pace internal) would be hosted off-site and would not be affected by Pace specific ‘outages’. 9

Ability to send out pertinent information in short amount of time.

Most students/staff/faculty carry cell phones – they are already familiar with the technology.

Gets the message to the community quicker.

Multiple means of communication – Broadcast voice calls/e-mail/text message/voice mail/online feed.

Most options (except Pace internal) would be hosted off-site and would not be affected by Pace specific ‘outages’.

Disadvantages/Concerns Maintenance of subscriber lists and group membership could be cumbersome. Need to develop polices covering the use of the system, who can use it and when. Need to ensure that this medium is maintained as an ‘emergency’ communication medium and not deteriorate into daily use for non-emergency purposes. Costs for the most expensive and robust systems could be significant. For external non-Pace systems, little, to no, control over the list of participants in an opt-in/subscription based system. SMS Text messages are limited to 160 characters in length. 10

Maintenance of subscriber lists and group membership could be cumbersome.

Need to develop polices covering the use of the system, who can use it and when.

Need to ensure that this medium is maintained as an ‘emergency’ communication medium and not deteriorate into daily use for non-emergency purposes.

Costs for the most expensive and robust systems could be significant.

For external non-Pace systems, little, to no, control over the list of participants in an opt-in/subscription based system.

SMS Text messages are limited to 160 characters in length.

Low-End Options Allows e-mail and text messages to be sent to participants based on group membership. Most systems can queue 2-4 addresses (text msg/e-mail) per person. Requires participants to subscribe and opt-in to receive messages. When ‘subscribing’ to service, participants indicate which groups they would like to ‘join’. With the exception of the Pace solution, we have little, to no, control over ensuring that messages are sent to the ENTIRE Pace community because of the ‘opt-in’ model. Participants need to have cell phone with them, or e-mail reader open to receive message immediately. Examples of low-end options include: Pace-Hosted Option (minimal – $0 - $7000/year) e2Campus ($10,000/year) Rave Alert($10,200 + per message) ClearTxt ($12,500) 11

Allows e-mail and text messages to be sent to participants based on group membership.

Most systems can queue 2-4 addresses (text msg/e-mail) per person.

Requires participants to subscribe and opt-in to receive messages.

When ‘subscribing’ to service, participants indicate which groups they would like to ‘join’.

With the exception of the Pace solution, we have little, to no, control over ensuring that messages are sent to the ENTIRE Pace community because of the ‘opt-in’ model.

Participants need to have cell phone with them, or e-mail reader open to receive message immediately.

Examples of low-end options include:

Pace-Hosted Option (minimal – $0 - $7000/year)

e2Campus ($10,000/year)

Rave Alert($10,200 + per message)

ClearTxt ($12,500)

Mid-Range Options Allows messages to be sent out using a variety of methods – e-mail, text message, voice message. Can store up to 6 voice and 2 electronic (email/text message) addresses. Can also be activated using phone based system if access to a computer is not available. Does not require opt-in for non-text-message communication. Names and information are fed to service by Pace. We maintain control over who gets notified. Synchronization could be daily, or any other frequency. Provides the most flexibility and best probability of contacting a larger amount of the Pace community. Example of mid-range options: ConnectEd ($32,500/year) 12

Allows messages to be sent out using a variety of methods – e-mail, text message, voice message.

Can store up to 6 voice and 2 electronic (email/text message) addresses.

Can also be activated using phone based system if access to a computer is not available.

Does not require opt-in for non-text-message communication.

Names and information are fed to service by Pace.

We maintain control over who gets notified.

Synchronization could be daily, or any other frequency.

Provides the most flexibility and best probability of contacting a larger amount of the Pace community.

Example of mid-range options:

ConnectEd ($32,500/year)

High-End Options Require all Pace students to purchase cell phones through pre-negotiated plans. Phones are equipped with latest technology, including GPS and allow students to ‘phone home’ to security department in an emergency. Through use of various software, a number of campus-based applications could be developed: Bus schedules/locations Menus Academic Calendars Alerts based on class Possible revenue generation opportunity – university would retain % of monthly cell service charges Example of High-end option: Rave/Sprint Wireless offering 13

Require all Pace students to purchase cell phones through pre-negotiated plans.

Phones are equipped with latest technology, including GPS and allow students to ‘phone home’ to security department in an emergency.

Through use of various software, a number of campus-based applications could be developed:

Bus schedules/locations

Menus

Academic Calendars

Alerts based on class

Possible revenue generation opportunity – university would retain % of monthly cell service charges

Example of High-end option:

Rave/Sprint Wireless offering

Summary 14

Recommendation to Improve “Timely” Emergency Notification Systems at Pace Utilize in-house solution for short-term. Would give us ability to contact Pace Community via e-mail and e-mail to cell phones. System will allow opt-in for text messaging. As budget becomes available, look to engage an outside provider with more robust capabilities such as text and voice messaging (approx. $30,000-$35,000/yr.). 15

Utilize in-house solution for short-term.

Would give us ability to contact Pace Community via e-mail and e-mail to cell phones.

System will allow opt-in for text messaging.

As budget becomes available, look to engage an outside provider with more robust capabilities such as text and voice messaging (approx. $30,000-$35,000/yr.).

References Clery Act Handbook from Department of Education: http://www.ed.gov/admins/lead/safety/handbook.pdf ConnectEd Site: http://www.ntigroup.com/products/connect-ed.asp EDUCAUSE Presentation on Emergency Notification Systems: http://www.educause.edu/live079 16

Clery Act Handbook from Department of Education:

http://www.ed.gov/admins/lead/safety/handbook.pdf

ConnectEd Site:

http://www.ntigroup.com/products/connect-ed.asp

EDUCAUSE Presentation on Emergency Notification Systems:

http://www.educause.edu/live079

“ Timely” Emergency Notification Systems for our Mobile Pace University Community DoIT, Security, Student Affairs, University Relations [email_address] 17

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