New alert system more efficient

This past August, ENMU transitioned from Rave to Everbridge for their emergency alert system due to more features being offered.

“Rave is what you call an opt-in system, which means everyone is on the outside of the system. If they want to receive alerts, they need to manually register,” ENMU Police Chief Brad Mauldin said. “What Everbridge does is just the opposite. Everbridge is designed to function as an opt-out system. Every current student, faculty or staff member’s information is automatically populated into the system.”

This means that every current student, faculty or staff member will receive emergency alerts via cellphone without having to register. If he or she would like to stop receiving alerts, they will need to manually opt-out by going to the ENMU website. Even if a person cancels alerts via cellphone, they will still receive messages through the school email, according to Mauldin.

“Everbridge also encourages activity,” Mauldin said. “We want to get people active, and we want to get people thinking. When people receive a message from Everbridge on their phone, it will ask if they have received the message, then it gives them the option to respond. This gives us an idea of who we’re reaching, and who’s actually reading these messages.”

The university’s former emergency alert system sent multiple false alarms last year due to a panic button included on employee cell phones. Mauldin said this panic button was a mechanism to keep administrators of the university informed and able to press the alert whenever necessary.

“This caused a numerous amount of false alarms, including an active shooter response on the SAS building,” said Maudlin. “If any faculty or staff still have the app on their phone, I suggest deleting that app immediately.”

To make sure there is no delay or error in sending out alerts, Everbridge allows for message templates to be saved and ready to send whenever necessary, and there has also been a change to what prefix is written before these messages.

“With Rave, everything began with ‘ENMU ALERT,’ no matter what message was being sent,” said Mauldin. “To a degree, this desensitizes the message that’s being sent to the students, faculty and staff. Now, for example, if there is an alert about weather, the prefix will say ‘ENMU INFO.’ For the more serious alerts, the message will say ‘ACTION,’ and this means we want you to take action. Something is happening right now, and we need you to take action to enhance your safety and survival.”

For more information on the current emergency alert system, contact the ENMU Department of Public Safety at 575-562-2392.

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