Though investigations are ongoing, Oregon Live/The Oregonian is reporting that two automated emergency alert systems failed during last week's devastating shooting spree at Oregon's Umpqua Community College. The campus computer system offered no pop-up alerts. Students and faculty who had opted in to mobile emergency notifications received no texts. What did work was a campus-wide e-mail written manually and sent by the facilities department secretary.
I invite all tech stakeholders into a candid discussion: How can we maintain confidence in campus-wide emergency technologies if they fail when we need them the most? How can tech managers (re)evaluate their emergency systems to determine efficacy? How can we safeguard systems so that when crisis strikes, everyone on campus is alerted instantly?
Margot Douaihy is the editorial director of AV Technology magazine. She has taught at Marywood University in PA.