The commonwealth of Virginia recently passed legislation requiring colleges and universities to establish comprehensive first-warning and notification plans by January 1, 2009. Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, known as Virginia Tech, has selected Virginia-based Inova Solutions as part of its emergency mass notification system. This month, university officials will implement over 200 OnAlert displays as a means to instantly communicate vital information to large groups of students, staff and faculty in public areas.
Virginia Tech's initial project includes 220 OnAlert displays for mass notification in classrooms and common areas. When no emergency message is needed, the displays show accurate time and date to ensure synchronized school operations. The displays are powered by existing network connections using standard Power over Ethernet (POE) technology. Centrally networked, the comprehensive system is easy to install, manage and send emergency messages as needed, according to the company.
For schools considering mass notification systems, here are a few considerations: