Today, there’s an app for everything. Need a ride? There’s an app for that. Need to know where to get cheap gas? Want to know when you can get up and pee during a movie? There’s an…well, you get the idea. But what about school safety? Yea, there’s an app for that too. Actually, there’s a lot of them.
It seems only natural that with everyone and everything going mobile, schools would hop on board. Many of their security features reflect the changes in technology and now they are joining the mobile age when it comes to security.
The apps available cover multiple aspects of security that a school may need to keep its students and faculty safe during an emergency.
NowForce has developed an app for Lowndes County school district that allows teachers to implement an SOS with just a swipe. When a call is made, the exact location of the phone is given and the closest available personnel is dispatched. The app is the first of its kind and will make it quick and easy to report incidents, monitor them in real time and respond to them quickly.
Active Shelter is a web-based program for PCs, smartphones and tablets that provides real-time information between staff during a lockdown. It provides a current status and location to 911 or EMS personnel. It’s a great way to coordinate drills and prepare for lockdown situations.
A similar app, Cellular 911, outfits phones with quick links that allow the users to instantly dial 911. By installing the feature on multiple phones, a school’s campus can be covered by multiple panic buttons at a minimal cost. The app also allows the sending of photos and videos, allowing emergency responders to get a grasp of the situation before arriving on the scene.
Schools in New York are testing a similar app called Safety Response. It will provide the chance for schools to instantly contact 911 through smartphones and make it easier for the entire school to be notified of the lockdown situation. Once the button is pressed it notifies the other app users of what’s happening and instructs them to either lockdown or evacuate. It also allows authorities to listen in on the situation.
Houston County schools in Alabama are now using an app as a crisis manager. Provided by SchoolDude, CrisisManager gives administrators access to step-by-step procedures to follow during an emergency. It also offers one-tap emergency calling, building schematics, emergency exits and lockdown locations.
While there’s no substitute for security features within a building that will protect students and staff, combining security and mobile can be a step in the right direction.