New Notifications at MU
The UM system signed a contract with the National Notification Network. University officials say they can warn the entire campus in minutes regardin emergencies ranging from severe weather all the way to a more extreme situation, such as a campus shooting. Messages can also go out to smaller select groups on campus.
If a dorm catches on fire, like Hudson Hall did last semester, only affected residents would get warnings. Messages will go out in varied ways including telephone, e-mail, text messaging, instant messaging, pagers, fax machine and blackberry devices. Students and staff can choose the method of communication.
"We want the culture that's there to work in our favor. If you go on any break on campus you see students carrying cell phones, so we know that text messages, cell phone messages, PDA messages are very important to get out. That's why we embrace this technology," said University Communications Director Scott Charton.
The new system will cost about $150,000 the first year and somewhat less after that. The university will test the system in October and November in hopes of having it running by the end of the semester.