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Emergency system set to alert college students, staff, faculty

Copiah Lincoln Community College is another local school takingpart in a growing trend of connecting every human being involved incampus activities through their electronic devices.

The “Wolf Alert” system gives instant information to students,faculty and staff through their telephones and computers, whethervia text messaging, e-mailing or automated voice recordings.

“For quite some time we’ve kind of felt a need to notifystudents at a moment’s notice in case of an emergency,” said Deanof Administrative Services Phil Broome. “We finally decided onwhat’s called SchoolCast, and what they do is they process ourmessage system, so to speak.”

The SchoolCast system gives students the capability to set uptheir own alert account online, and choose their method of alert.The system has sent an e-mail to each eligible student, faculty andstaff member giving them login information, at which point they cango online and enter contact information.

“They can be notified however they want to be notified,” Broomesaid. “It’s not limited to just one thing, though, because weunderstand there are some students who don’t have text. We feellike there’s going to be some way to notify them, whether it’s byvoice message on their home phone, through email or whatever. Withall those areas we can contact them, one ought to hit.”

Broome said the system can get out messages about anything frompending bad weather to snow closings, or campus emergencies likecriminal activity or threats, or even things as simple as poweroutages or class cancellations.

“With our being able to get them a message so quickly, it couldbe anything,” he said. “We’re proud of it. We’ve run some tests,and we’re confident we can get the notice out, as soon as they allget their accounts set up.”

The alert system complements the other safety measures theschool has worked to implement in recent years, including a camerasystem around campus and emergency sirens.

“We’re increasing our number of cameras, and our campus policeare set up so we can view them,” Broome said. “They’re located invarious places around campus.”

The siren system emits warning blasts in the case of variousemergencies, and also has a public address system that allowsadministrators to vocalize directions if more than a simple warningis required.

“One of our primary concerns is for the students’ safety, thatcovers a good bit of it and what we do,” Broome said. “We’re justtrying to make sure our students are coming here to a safeenvironment.”