Over the past year, UNT’s Emergency Operations Center and Police Department have worked to improve and expand the university’s ability to deliver emergency notifications to the campus community.
The university has chosen Alertus Emergency Mass Notification System to supplement Eagle Alert and to enhance the immediate notification capacity of the Police Department and the Emergency Operations Center. The Alertus System is a solution that integrates with and sends alerts using existing infrastructure and technology, including desktop computers, public announcement (PA) systems, Voice over IP phones, digital signage, mobile devices, fire panels and more. The implementation and deployment of the Alertus System was divided into three phases.
Phase one of this project has been completed and involved the installation of physical buttons in UNT police dispatch and the Emergency Operations Center that provide immediate one-step emergency notice activation by simply pressing a button. The primary purpose is to decrease activation time and make people immediately aware of the situation. When these buttons are pressed, a pre-scripted message is sent immediately by Eagle Alert that includes information about the incident and the appropriate action to take. These devices were successfully used during the last two Eagle Alert tests.
Implementation of the second phase of the Alertus project is underway and uses desktop notifications that will appear on computer screens in UNT’s computer labs, classrooms, offices and digital signs operated via desktop computers. When an emergency happens, the alert is pushed to all computers that are part of the Alertus network and those computers are overridden with a full-screen alert message. This will be in addition to notifications received by text message, email or phone and will mirror messaging received through these methods. The message will continue to be displayed until it expires or is cancelled, or until the recipient clicks an acknowledgement button. This feature is already being used by library systems and classrooms supported by Classroom Support Services. President Neal Smatresk recently approved using the Alertus Desktop Override feature campus-wide to supplement existing methods currently in place at UNT.
Target completion date for the second phase is Aug. 1, 2018.
The third phase of the Alertus project will evaluate other ways in which communications could be made by integrating other existing IT assets and facility infrastructure including:
· Fire Alarm Integration
· VOIP and IP Phones
· Public address systems
· Outdoor notifications