author Marlee Hirson, Wednesday April 20, 2016

Push notifications reach the majority of your users in a matter of seconds and can travel over both WiFi or cellular networks. This is a powerful capability; it means that you can count on your users getting the message in the shortest amount of time versus other traditional mass notification systems.

By sending push notifications, your people will have the information they need to stay safe in an emergency. Since push notifications are so effective, we want our institutions to feel comfortable and confident sending them. That's why we thought it would be helpful to provide examples of situations of when to send push notifications to your campus.

Severe Weather Warnings

For severe weather, push notifications are a great tool for emergency management. As soon as your team receives notice of weather warnings, you can alert your campus immediately.

Your pushes can direct students to safe areas or point them to safety resources. Even in less serious situations, such a snowstorm, you are able to notify your entire campus if classes are cancelled. NSCAD University on the east coast of Canada uses their app for this frequently. This effective usage of push has proven the value of their app to their students, leading to extremely high download rates as well.

Campus Lockdowns

Push notifications are the fastest way to inform your campus of a lockdown. This past February, Vancouver Island University received reports of a gunman and was forced into a lockdown. In only two minutes, the entire campus was locked down thanks to the University sending push notifications. NDP Public Safety Critics praised VIU's safety response and use of push notifications.

The VIU lockdown shows how push notifications are an effective emergency response. In seconds, the campus was made aware of the situation and in a few minutes, the whole campus was in lockdown until the all clear. In this situation, push notifications were able to help VIU issue the lockdown as quickly as possible.

Suspicious Persons Alert

If someone reports a suspicious person on campus, you can send a push profiling the individual. If a student spots the individual, they'll know to contact safety authorities immediately. This also increases the likelihood of someone identifying and reporting the suspicious individual. Given that all AppArmor apps have the ability to report suspicious activity using a photo or video, this is a great way to drive usage of the app as well.

Incident Warnings

When there’s a crime report, sending out pushes will help your campus stay vigilant. This past year, individuals were firing BB gun pellets around the Wilfrid Laurier University campus. WLU sent pushes alerting the campus of areas to be aware of, safety resources, and report updates.  Students and faculty members were able to adjust their travel routes to avoid locations where the BB gun shooters had recently been, as well as stay updated about the situation.

Push notifications inform your campus about safety concerns and what safety resources are available. Being able to alert your entire campus in a matter of seconds in an emergency is a powerful capability that AppArmor provides at a very low cost. But it’s also important to keep in mind that pushes should be clear and concise. Push Notification Protocols and Best Practices discusses best practices for sending push notifications.

Have you had to send push notifications? What was the reason? How effective do you believe Push Notifications are? If you’d like more emergency push notification examples, just comment below!


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