Case Histories (Real-World Solutions)
App Helps Campus Stay Safe
SchoolDude’s CrisisManager app allows students and faculty at George Mason University to stay abreast of emergencies or dangerous situations — even if cellular service is interrupted.
At George Mason University (GMU) in Fairfax, VA, creating and maintaining a safe environment for 32,000 students across four campuses is a serious priority. The university’s emergency preparedness campaign “Are You Mason Ready?” brings awareness to emergency preparedness plans, including the use of SchoolDude’s CrisisManager, a mobile safety app.
In the event of a crisis on campus, such as a building evacuation, fire, severe weather, violence or medical emergency, finding printed emergency materials and actionable response steps can be a challenge. GMU’s Environmental Health and Safety Office has made great strides in mobilizing safety plans — making them easily available on smartphones.
CrisisManager allows the university to proactively address major and minor emergencies and empowers students, faculty and staff with important steps to take during a crisis. One-tap calling and detailed safety procedures, which can be updated in real-time to reflect any changes on campus, are stored locally on the app.
Emergency plans are even available if cellular service is interrupted. This feature ensures that everyone on campus can access response plans at all times. Safety guidelines on the app mirror information available in online and printed guides; however, the app is more easily accessible.
“By detailing how to prepare for an emergency and take action on a mobile and easy-to-use platform, CrisisManager has helped GMU become a safer campus and learning environment,” says David Farris, George Mason University’s director of safety and emergency management. “The app’s utility, convenience and ease of use makes it one of our most valuable tools for sharing emergency preparedness and response information with the university community.”
GMU is currently expanding the functionality of the app by using it to report incidents to University Police and will make annual security reports available to the community via a PDF published to the app.
This article originally appeared in the June 2015 issue of College Planning & Management.