Communicating information to hundreds, sometimes thousands, of people is a common occurrence for schools. Sending home a note with the kids or putting information on a flashing sign outside may be enough sometimes, but there are many instances where a more advanced method is warranted. Consider situations like a last-minute school closure due to weather, a fire breaking out in the chemistry lab, or an intruder entering the building.
The ability to notify staff, parents, and emergency personnel of basic announcements and extreme emergencies is crucial for schools. A Unified Communications (UC) system can facilitate and enhance mass alerts in multiple ways, including through calls, emails, SMS, and more. This ensures safer students and a faster resolution to emergency situations.
Custom Voice Messages
A custom voice message can be sent to students’ emergency contacts to inform them of important happenings. For example, a weather-related school closure. This is a proactive approach to quickly informing the masses.
You can also set up a custom greeting to play when someone calls the school. This gives people the information they need quickly, so they can be aware of a situation without even needing to talk to a staff member.
Because a custom voice message is often crafted by a person of authority or a spokesperson for the school, it will provide the details people need to know and reduce the risk of misconstrued or inaccurate information. Basically, it minimizes the rumor mill by providing an official medium to clarify details.
If you need help determining what should be included in your custom voice message, check out our blog on tips for crafting the perfect school emergency alert message.
911 is an invaluable resource. However, when someone dials 911, the only people who know are the callers and the dispatchers. No one else at the location where the emergency has occured knows.
With UC, a notification can be sent to key personnel whenever 911 has been dialed. This allows principals, administrators, nurses, and other important figures to know exactly when and where a situation has occurred. With the notification, emergency action plans can go into effect sooner, ensuring a better response time and a smoother resolution. When an emergency occurs, the fastest possible response and resolution times are imperative for student and staff safety.
One-Touch Mass Notifications
One of the best features of UC is its ability to integrate with 3rd party software applications. Switchvox, in particular, is able to integrate with Quicklert, a secure messaging and alert management platform. Quicklert makes it easier for schools to communicate by sending mass messages with the touch of a button. School personnel can send pre-written messages to other staff members, specific groups, or all parents, reducing the time spent conveying vital information and speeding up time to resolution. When an emergency occurs, each second is precious, and Quicklert helps schools to make more efficient use of their time.
Gettysburg School District implemented Quicklert with their Switchvox deployment to integrate with smartphones, tablets, and more to provide a safer environment for their students.
Quicklert functionality goes far beyond one-touch messaging, and we will cover its capabilities in greater detail in an upcoming blog post.
Communicating to the masses is a critical need for schools, whether it’s notifying staff of an emergency situation or conveying basic information to parents. Unified Communications gives schools options beyond voice capabilities that allow them to consolidate technologies, improve communications, reduce time to resolution, and get the most from their budgets. In short, UC makes schools safer and more secure.
To learn how Switchvox enhanced communications for schools across the state of Wisconsin, read the success story now.