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Emergency Communications Management. Jonathan Rood CIO and Associate VP, San Francisco State University Laine Keneller Business Continuity Planner & Project Manager, University of California, Davis Rodney Petersen Government Relations Officer, EDUCAUSE. Real time Connections

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emergency communications management

Emergency Communications Management

Jonathan Rood

CIO and Associate VP, San Francisco State University

Laine Keneller

Business Continuity Planner & Project Manager,

University of California, Davis

Rodney Petersen

Government Relations Officer, EDUCAUSE

real time connections with technology emergency communications management
Real time Connections


Emergency Communications Management


Western Regional Conference 2008

Planning for the


Emergency Communications System

“Great Expectations”

Can notify 40K individuals in seconds

Will be able to explain exactly what action to take

Will know when to send updates and what information to include

Everyone will know what to do – especially faculty, as students will turn to them in a crisis

Appropriate individuals will be available at the exact start of the emergency and be available to collaborate

Emergency Communications System

in Practice (Reality Check)

Takes time to make messages that are clear, instructive

Need many backups of responsible assigned staff

Overlapping messages may cause confusion

Txt and voice message must be brief – but recipients have many questions

System is needed beyond initial incident: Plan beyond the message, with pre-established roles for faculty, staff, managers

Message should follow pre-set guidelines which include:

message delivery times

anticipated number of follow-up notices

user comprehension

type of emergency

understanding of pre-established leadership roles

all established procedures


System Requirements:

  • More Than a Little Software
  • Extensive feature set, including:
  • Schedule/send to multiple phones peer user plus text, e-mail, TTY
  • Group management
  • Reporting tools with statistical results
  • Contact administration for delete, add, change
  • Assurance that calls have priority routing
  • Hassle-free data upload with flexible attributes
Adoption of city / state emergency communication systems

Tap into civic services / notifications

Two-way communication: call / response for skilled resources

e.g., need available electricians/nurses/language translators

Identification, notification, and authentication by skill/certification

Campus can both request and provide resources

Integration with Civic Infrastructure

Ready, Set, …

Delivering a System

Need policies, procedures, task assignments

Who’s involved? University Police, Information Technology, Human Resources, Public Relations / Communications, Enrollment Services and Registrations, Student Affairs, Health Center, Faculty Affairs, Administration & Finance and more

Security of personal data and policies for use of contact data

Collecting data…how to encourage, mandate vs. opt-in

Testing, small, medium and full scale

Creating a feedback loop

Ongoing review process

UC Davis began RFP process in June of 2006

Committee representation from Police Department, Operations and Maintenance, Purchasing and IET

September 2007, the last phase in the purchase process was completed

UC Davis Emergency Notification System

we have your number
We Have Your Number!
  • Chancellor’s Taskforce created in October 2007
  • API built from on-line directory to WARN
  • 54,000 records uploaded
  • December 2007, Chancellor sent email asking faculty & staff to update contact info
network test
5 separate tests

Clearly defined goals

2 day time frame

13,000 participants

Staff, Faculty & Students

Network Test
interesting test facts
Interesting Test Facts

First message acknowledged 1 second from test initiation

  • Speed of Delivery per Device:
  • SMS Text Messaging / Cell
  • Email
  • Work Phones
  • Pagers

Number of emails delivered on campus within 5 seconds: 76%

March Incident: Approx 55,000 emails sent and received within 16 minutes

technical issues identified
Technical Issues Identified
  • Incoming carrier trunk capacity issues
  • “Missing” calls not received during test
  • Majority of pager messages not delivered
  • Approximately 800 emails unaccounted for
what s next
What’s Next?
  • Modify on-line directory to accept emergency information
  • Public Awareness Campaign
  • Determine ongoing testing schedule
  • In the absence of industry standards, need to establish UC System benchmark
    • What % of population should be notified?
    • How soon should they be notified?
    • Continuous improvement
implementation tool kit http vpiet ucdavis edu ems
Implementation Tool Kithttp://vpiet.ucdavis.edu/ems/
  • Functional Requirements
  • RFP
  • Vendor Scoring Matrix
  • Chancellor’s Charter Letter
  • Emergency Notification Policy
  • Test Plan
  • Test Results
  • Communication Plan
  • FAQ’s
  • Share your experiences and questions with your colleagues as together we sketch out a roadmap to providing this important service.
  • Who must be involved in the planning and management of these systems?
  • What policies are needed?
  • What is happening on your campus?
  • Other questions?
  • EDUCAUSE Emergency Communications Constituent Grouphttp://www.educause.edu/15272
  • EDUCAUSE Connect: Emergency Notification Systemshttp://connect.educause.edu/term_view/Emergency+Notification+Systems
  • NACUBO Campus Safety and Security Projecthttp://www.nacubo.org/x10053.xml