Emergency Notification System
In addition to participating in and encouraging the campus community to register for the CUNY A!ert emergency notification system, Brooklyn College, under the direction of the vice president for finance and administration, has implemented a new on-campus public address (PA) emergency notification system. This multimodal approach provides a higher degree of effectiveness and efficiency in emergency communications with the Brooklyn College community.
Campus safety — and the ability to provide effective notification in an emergency — is a critical issue. Brooklyn College administrators understand this and are constantly seeking a balance between facilitating an environment that fosters academic and personal freedoms and providing operational continuity, emergency preparedness and life safety protection for students, faculty, staff and visitors. As such, the college is implementing a voice paging notification system that delivers optimal protection by offering a reliable method to provide timely and accurate information to our campus community.
CUNY A!ert versus Brooklyn College PA System
CUNY A!ert provides a secure, Web-based emergency alert system that sends messages (to those who have signed up) via cell phone (text and/or voice), land0line telephone and e-mail. The Brooklyn College voice paging system augments the college's mass notification plan by offering real-time voice announcement capabilities throughout the physical campus buildings. This arrangement affords Brooklyn College with a comprehensive mass notification program capable of making real-time voice announcements to keep the campus community informed of emergencies and how to respond.
The benefits of Brooklyn College's new public address system are numerous:
- Voice announcements provide clear, real-time instructions to campus community members for situations that may be rapidly evolving.
- All areas (interior and exterior) on campus can be covered by audio announcements.
- Announcements can be directed to specific buildings or "zones" on campus, allowing control over dissemination of information.
- Voice announcements can reach areas where cell phones and networks may not.
- The voice paging system is exceptionally flexible — initiated from many different locations from both on and off campus, and accessible by various college administrators.
- The hard-wired system has numerous redundancy features and backup systems, resulting in a reliable real-time public address system.
- Students, faculty and staff do not need to be online to receive important announcements.
The on-campus PA notification system is being deployed in two phases. Phase I, completed in August 2008, consisted of integrating the public address system into four campus buildings: Ingersoll Hall, Ingersoll Hall Extension, James Hall and Whitehead Hall.
Phase II, currently in progress, will provide integration of the public address system into the 10 remaining campus buildings as well as exterior campus locations. The college completed extensive site surveys and environmental assessments, and is currently reviewing the design package. We anticipate that Phase II activities will commence in the coming months. We will keep the campus community apprised of the project's progress.
When an emergency happens or is imminent, campus officials must be able to quickly and efficiently alert people in the immediate environment. This new public address system can quickly notify the campus community of threats and advise them of appropriate actions to take to provide for the safest possible outcomes.