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ERIC Number: EJ826198
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 10
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-1527-6619
The Multi-Dimensional Nature of Emergency Communications Management
Staman, E. Michael; Katsouros, Mark; Hach, Richard
EDUCAUSE Review, v44 n1 p48-50, 52, 54, 56, 58, 60, 62-63 Jan-Feb 2009
Within an incredibly short period--perhaps less than twenty-four months--the need for emergency preparedness has risen to a higher level of urgency than at any other time in the history of academe. Large or small, public or private, higher education institutions are seriously considering the dual problems of notification and communications management when potentially life-threatening events confront a campus environment. Emergency preparedness is certainly not a new agenda item. Most institutions have some sort of campus hotline that students can use in the event of an assault or other violent crime and also some sort of calling tree that will communicate decisions such as a campus closing because of an impending snowstorm or similar situation. But the problems associated with--and the opportunities for dealing with--emergency preparedness have evolved significantly in recent years, possibly catalyzed by the April 2007 shooting incident at Virginia Tech. On the one hand, there seems to be a growing tendency toward violence; on the other hand, an increasingly rich collection of notification, communications, and management tools can assist in mitigating the impact of these situations. This rich variety of tools and solutions leads to two important questions for colleges and universities to consider. First, how can these technologies be best leveraged to benefit emergency notification services? And second, what are the implications of all of these options on emergency communications management (ECM) policies and operational procedures? To help institutions answer these two questions and also to provide insight into the basic parameters of emergency communications in higher education today, the Steering Committee of the EDUCAUSE Net@EDU Converged Communications Working Group (CCWG) sent a short survey to a group of carefully selected colleges and universities. The objective was to discover the nature of the work being accomplished at these institutions. The responses to this survey also helped to inform two case studies, prepared by the CCWG Steering Committee, on emergency notification system (ENS) and ECM solutions at Virginia Tech and the University of Iowa. In this article, the authors identify several important success factors as a result of the analyses of the CCWG survey and the two case studies. (Contains 5 figures and 9 notes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Iowa; Virginia