In late June the University tested its emergency sirens and emergency communication notification procedures, which is called the Alert Carolina System (ACS). The well-publicized test, which was a success, verified that newly installed ACS equipment and software were working properly.
This is all part of the Initial Emergency Notification Automation project, called the One Button solution, which has streamlined the activation of the outdoor warning sirens and automatic distribution of mass text messages, emails and social media posts.
Now, with the simple press of a single button, the previous 15-plus minute process required to activate all systems and notifications has been reduced to less than two minutes. Follow-on communications, to provide additional updates, will still be crafted and sent depending on the specifics of the situation.
The system improvements, led by Information Technology Services (ITS), were well described by Matthew Mauzy, the overall project leader and IT manager at the ITS control center, in a recent Daily Tar Heel article.
In brief, the benefits of the One Button solution are:
- One Button minimizes the opportunity for human error in the initial activation of the system.
- The improvement ensures siren activations are immediately accompanied by explanatory text and email messages.
- The creation of an infrastructure to support additional notification methods, including desktop alerts and beacons, which are under evaluation and consideration.
The One Button solution is part of the University’s ongoing commitment to campus safety and emergency readiness. Thanks to One Button, Carolina is more prepared should the Alert Carolina System need to be activated in the future.
UNC-Chapel Hill Media Manager