Virginia Tech Shootings – “breakdown in communications”

Picture 7The Virginia Tech Shootings are all over the news today. Really bad. Here’s a summary by the Herald Tribune. Just a few moments ago, I saw a report on the BBC highlighting that there had been a ‘breakdown in communications’ between the University management and students. Not good, not good at all.

Communication in these crisis situations — the Uni has 25,000 students — is absolutely critical. Almost every single student and staffer on the campus will have had a mobile phone with them. I have been scanning the media to try and establish if the University had implemented and used a text notification service to help spread the word. I didn’t see any mention of any text updates. I strongly believe that a system such as this needs to be in place for any big institutions — from High Schools to office blocks to Universities — so that when disasters or issues happen, instructions can be quickly communicated simultaneously to large groups of people.

The technology didn’t exist for this 10 years ago. But it does now. I think it really should be utilised.

I dropped a note over to Bryan at Omnilert (they do this kind of thing for quite a lot of Universities in America) to ask if they’d supplied any services to Virginia Tech. I should have an answer soon.

2 Responses to Virginia Tech Shootings – “breakdown in communications”

  1. noel chandler April 16, 2007 at 11:56 pm #

    So very true (and sad). I have a friend who lives there and the first thing I did when i saw it on the news is send her a text message to make sure she was ok. It seems to be such a simple thing to set up, but I believe it will be awhile here in the U.S. Everyone uses SMS to communicate with each other, but there is some ramping up needed in all of the other ways SMS can be used amongst most mobile users here, even in the college set.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. » Virginia Tech Shootings - Why Wasn’t Anyone Notified? - April 17, 2007

    […] I noticed some other blog posts about this, most notably @ SMS Text News. There appear to be a few companies setup specifically for these types of alerts, and I’m sure they will get much more attention tommorow. This is something I will be offering to my children’s school district immediately. […]

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