5 Ways SMS Text Messaging May Help in a School Emergency Situation
A school’s biggest nightmare is a poorly handled disaster situation. It is bad enough when something goes terribly wrong, but if the school policies add to the problem in any way, then they deal with a much larger fallout from devastated families and a nervous public. Campus violence has led to a lost sense of security with over 142 shootings in American schools since 2013. To improve campus security and communication, an SMS texting software should be in place in the case of an emergency situation.
1. Real-Time Communication
Texting is fast and it is quickly read. The current estimate is that nearly all texts are read within the first 3 minutes of being received. People have their phones with them nearly all of the time, especially students. A text alert system can help teachers and students know what is going on within mere seconds, further spread by the world-of-mouth wildfire that will occur after the initial texts are read.
2. Requesting Feedback
Texting programs can request those in the situation to reach out for help or give updates as to what is going on. If people in a certain building are dealing with an intruder, they can use texting to get help. The school can get updates from people in real time and use the information to send new alerts to students and staff.
3. Dispelling Rumors
A situation can go from bad to out of control when false rumors are causing people to act irrationally from fear. A texting system with proactive communication will have fewer people in the dark and can help dispel rumors that may come up.
4. Targeted Communication
Schools can use texting to personalize the emergency communications with segmented lists on their texting platform. They may want to provide additional instruction to teachers or reminders to students, for example. Texts can be set up with the texting platform to only go out to certain people on the list based on what role they hold in the school (student, teacher or staff) or things like how close they are to the school. The school may want to send out a warning alert to those on or heading towards the campus, but may not want this to be sent to those that aren’t anywhere near the campus at the time.
5. Keeping it Brief
Unlike an email that may not be seen or a phone call that would take too long, texting is direct and to the point. Mass texts are more likely to communicate exactly what is needed without going overboard. From bad weather to dangerous situations, if there ever is a disaster on campus, a text messaging system can help keep people safe. Brief reminders to seek out counseling or encouragement to talk to other students can help people at the school deal with tragedies or shocking events.
A school should use a text messaging system integrated into their campus alarms, drill policies and protocol for emergency. Texts can help clarify situations and are a low-cost solution that easily work hand-in-hand with other tools to keep students and staff safe. As a school, you never want to deal with a horrible situation, but if one does arise, you have to be fully prepared.
Author: Ken Rhie
Ken Rhie is the CEO of Trumpia, which earned a reputation as the most complete SMS solution including user-friendly user interface and API for mobile engagement, Smart Targeting, advanced automation, enterprise, and cross-channel features for both mass texting and landline texting use cases. Mr. Rhie holds an MBA degree from Harvard Business School. He has over 30 years of experience in the software, internet, and mobile communications industries.
Argosy Students: In the event of an emergency, our alert system will be enabled where timely information and instruction regarding the status of the emergency will be provided. Students now can also receive emergency messages via email, mobile phone, home phone and text messaging directly to the communication device of each recipient's choice. Students simply need to update their personal profile in their Student Portal to begin receiving emergency messages. https://www.argosy.edu/locations/online/student-consumer-information