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Bethlehem, Pa., August 28, 2007—Moravian College has implemented a new notification and communication system to alert students, faculty, and staff in the event of an emergency as part of an overall program to ensure the safety of the campus community. The four tier system includes a siren/public address speaker, cell phone text messaging, e-mail notification, and posting critical information on the homepage of the College website.
The notification system is one of a number of recent initiatives aimed at increasing safety and communication during a crisis situation. “Moravian has a long history of continuous improvement with regard to institutional safety and emergency preparedness,” said Christopher M. Thomforde, Moravian College president. “In recent years, we have enhanced our facilities by adding sprinklers and card access to most of our residence hall facilities, with work in remaining traditional halls scheduled to be completed next summer. We have strengthened our programs by developing more than 30 emergency response protocols addressing a wide range of situations and by partnering with the City of Bethlehem in a federally-funded critical incident protocol program facilitated by representatives from Michigan State University. Additionally, we have bolstered our 24/7 Campus Safety Office operation by relocating it to more suitable facilities; by providing increased training for staff, including participation in regular tabletop exercises; and by arranging for a formal outside review of our Campus Safety program, which was completed in February 2007.”
“This summer, we have focused on improving our notification and communication systems,” Thomforde continued. “It is important to have a mechanism to alert members of our college community in the event of an emergency and, subsequently, to provide information and instructions through various mediums. While there can never be a guarantee of safety, we believe that moving in this direction places the College in a better position from which to deal with the unexpected threats of today’s world.”
Moravian has installed two sirens, one situated on the Main Street Campus and one on the Priscilla Payne Hurd Campus on Church Street, that will initiate the notification system. The College plan calls for the notification sirens to be activated by Campus Safety in the event of an emergency to alert people to check their cell phones. The communication system is contracted through a company called OMNILERT, LLC using their product called e2Campus (http://www.e2campus.com/).
Thomforde noted that the College strongly encourages all members of the campus community, students, faculty, and staff to opt-in to the program. “In order to take full advantage of these enhancements to our campus preparedness, we have requested that every student, faculty member, administrator, and staff member who has a cell phone to register that cell phone number in accordance with instructions posted on Moravian’s intranet site.”
“In the event of an emergency, this new system will enable the College to send text messages to the cell phones of registered members of the campus community with information about what is happening and/or what precautions should be taken,” said Sean Tallarico, director of campus safe. “Students and employees may register two cell phone numbers and two e-mail addresses. The College plans to test the system twice annually: once in September and once in January.”
Moravian College is a private, coeducational, selective liberal arts college located in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Tracing its founding to 1742, it is recognized as America's sixth-oldest college. Visit the Web site at www.moravian.edu.