The new cloud-based communication app for smartphones allows school staff and first responders to coordinate in real-time during an emergency situation.
Weymouth, MA – ELERTS Corp., a leader in smartphone emergency communication systems, announced today the roll out of Event Alert™, an essential communication tool for schools seeking to respond quickly to escalating incidents of school violence.
ELERTS Event Alert™ (Event Alert) supports iPhone and Android devices and integrates real-time chat with photos and GPS maps to facilitate the rapid exchange of information during a school security event. Any authorized user of ELERTS Event Alert may initiate a facility lockdown at the press of a button from their mobile device. School staff and first responders can share security and safety concerns during– and even before– a crisis arises. Research indicates that rapid communication before an emergency unfolds can be critical to the successful de-escalation of the event.
A five year Secret Service study revealed that a school-based attack is usually carefully planned and carried out by an individual with a connection to the school. The attacker often exhibits unusual and suspicious behavior well before the attack occurs. Effective communication among teachers, school administrators and local law enforcement about potential warning signs can reduce the possibility of an attack and improve the response, should an attack occur.
Ed English, ELERTS’ CEO said: “We designed ELERTS Event Alert™ as a means for school staff to share information and to report suspicious behavior before potential threats escalate to violence. School personnel can easily report something — a suspicious person in the parking lot or a student exhibiting unusual, threatening or suspicious behavior– using Event Alert’s chat function. These reports are sent by the ELERTS Event Alert smartphone app and can provide law enforcement with important information to evaluate a threat and respond accordingly.”
Event Alert doesn’t stop there. If an authorized ELERTS Event Alert user observes imminent danger, they may use the app to initiate a lockdown of the school, to secure the building before a suspect gets inside. ELERTS Event Alert is compatible with most access control systems that can electronically lock the doors and selectively disable swipe cards.
ELERTS Event Alert complies with new U.S. Department of Education (DOE) best practices. In June, the DOE released its “Guide for Developing High-Quality School Emergency Operation Plans,” which outlines how to plan for crisis situations such as natural disasters or active shooters. The new guidelines cover a variety of best practices for an Emergency Operations Plan (EOP), focusing on training school staff to react as first responders even before police arrive.
Many prior EOPs encouraged a one-size-fits-all “shelter in place” response to an active shooter situation. The DOE guidelines now support a more situational, variable response, as does the ALICE (Alert, Lock down, Inform, Counter, and Evacuate) program.
ELERTS Event Alert addresses four of the five ALICE components. Users can alert police via a call button, inform other users in the building through a text and photo based real-time chat feature, lock down the facility from anywhere there is cellular or Wi-Fi coverage, and, by providing critical information, facilitate an evacuation, when appropriate.
“To prepare for any emergency situation, including an active shooter, the DOE guidelines emphasize training, planning, and establishing clear communication,” said English. “ELERTS Event Alert™ is the perfect tool because it provides the school staff with the ability to collaborate and decide the best response to a security situation.”
ELERTS apps communicate with a cloud-based infrastructure that includes real-time two-way chat, geo-location mapping services, a secure management portal and integration with on-site surveillance cameras and access control systems.
ELERTS Event Alert was designed with K-12 schools in mind, but can also be used on corporate campuses, universities, government buildings, and hospitals.
For more information: elerts.connectingsmart.com
ELERTS, headquartered in Weymouth, MA, develops best-in-class emergency communication software, empowered by community-sourced reporting of safety and security concerns. The company’s cloud-based approach leverages smartphone technologies to provide robust, bidirectional communication between multiple parties. ELERTS’ mobile technology integrates text, photos, GPS mapping and real-time alerts with video surveillance, access control and mass-notification systems. The result is actionable information for emergency situations—to help first responders become faster responders.