Ga. Tech Implements Emergency Notification System

A Component of a Comprehensive Preparedenss Plan

In a continuing effort to safeguard students, faculty and staff, the Georgia Institute of Technology has implemented a new emergency communications system. Known as the GT Emergency Notification System (GTENS), the system allows urgent messages to be distributed in the form of e-mail, voice mail, and text messages in a matter of minutes.

"Efficient and effective communication is critical during an emergency and ultimately saves lives," said Andy Altizer, Georgia Tech emergency preparedness director. "This system will work in tandem with existing notification protocols and preparedness activities." Currently, emergency campus messages can be distributed via e-mail, the Institute's Web site and campus media including the cable network and radio station, WREK.

As part of GTENS, the Institute will be utilizing a number of communication methods to distribute critical information including a campus siren warning system designed to notify those located in outdoor areas around campus, a weather tracking system that will provide information regarding severe weather impacting the campus, campus radio and cable networks, e-mail notifications and the Georgia Tech Web site.

In addition, this fall, Georgia Tech is launching an 'Emergency Preparedness' certificate program making the Institute the first within the University System to provide structured training for building/facility managers and for other Georgia Tech employees and campus organizations. This training requires five mandatory and two elective courses ranging from Advanced Topics in Emergency Preparedness to Adult CPR. The new certificate program is part of the Institute's aggressive training and exercise program conducted throughout the year to prepare the campus for a wide range of emergency scenarios. For example, the Georgia Tech Police Department recently completed a 'response to a shooter' training class that included realistic and stressful scenarios with role players. Georgia Tech has approximately 70 sworn police officers on campus.

Georgia Tech also has an Emergency Preparedness Advisory Group that convenes monthly to assure that ongoing concerns are addressed. The group not only includes representatives from across campus, but also members from the Atlanta Police and Fire Departments and the Atlanta Fulton County Emergency Management Agency.