SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Elizabeth White, Liz McMillan, Pat Romanski, Esmeralda Swartz, Kevin Jackson

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University of New Haven Uses Everbridge Mobile Application to Initiate Campus Lockdown after Reports of a Person with a Gun

University of New Haven, a private university in West Haven, Connecticut with more than 6,400 undergraduate and graduate students, recently used Everbridge to accomplish a campus-wide lockdown. On Dec. 3, 2013, the University received word of a person with a gun near campus, and alerted faculty, staff, and students to shelter-in-place until further notice.

When the initial report came in, a University official at a meeting off campus used the Everbridge mobile application on their smartphone to send shelter-in-place instructions. This mobile technology allowed University of New Haven to respond to the threat immediately, sending an alert to the entire campus community in seconds. The suspect was apprehended, and a follow-up notification was sent. The school then remained in lockdown; Everbridge alerts were sent every 45 minutes while police searched all 32 buildings on campus for explosive devices. In total, seven Everbridge notifications were deployed over six hours.

"I've never had a need to use the mobile application prior to this. I never had a circumstance where I needed to utilize it," said Ronald Quagliani, the University's associate vice president of public safety and administrative services. "I'm sure glad I had it on my phone, because a delay would have been inconceivable. And the reality is, it would have taken us 25 minutes to get back to the campus, and delaying a message like that with the potential for injury or lives lost was not an option. If we didn't have the app on the phone, or the training to use the app, it could have been a totally different situation."

"With Everbridge, you don't have to be locked to a computer to use it, and if something should happen, you don't have to have a network connection to send messages," said Imad Mouline, chief technology officer at Everbridge. "It's web-based, you can have it on your smartphone or tablet, and send a message to multiple contact paths in seconds to improve emergency response."

Family members of students, including out-of-state relatives, and the local community commended the University for excellent communication and emergency procedures throughout the event. Students, staff, and faculty are automatically enrolled in the Everbridge system; family members, regardless of their location, can also register for critical alerts through the University’s sign up portal.

Prior to implementing Everbridge, University of New Haven utilized a character-limiting, text message-only system to send emergency communications. According to Quagliani, the implementation of Everbridge has improved the University’s emergency communications, allowing it to quickly communicate to its community through multiple channels, including emails, phone calls, unlimited length text messages, University-wide message boards, and desktop computer alerts. "The benefits of Everbridge are many – no hardware or maintenance investment, multiple communication methods, and most importantly, timely message broadcasting," said Quagliani.

About Everbridge

Everbridge provides critical communication solutions to more than 30 million end users in all major industries and government sectors around the globe. The Everbridge solutions suite allows clients to manage emergencies, mass notifications, incident communications, and situational intelligence from a single system. Ultimately, these solutions help clients save lives, manage critical activities and improve the efficiency of daily operations. For more information about Everbridge, please see www.everbridge.com.

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