CCU installs new emergency mass notification system - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

CCU installs new emergency mass notification system

In an emergency situation, officials at Coastal Carolina University want to make sure they can notify students and staff they are in danger as quickly as possible.

Speakers around campus, with loud and clear messages, will now alert students and staff if there's an immediate threat to their safety. It's just another step in the school's efforts to keep campus safe.

"There's violence everywhere so here at Coastal we want to be on the cutting edge to provide everything we can for our faculty, staff, and students," Director of Public Safety David Roper said. "That's why we've included this as one of our tools."

Four tall poles have been posted around campus with speakers on the top, ready to warn you if an emergency situation is underway.

"Anytime a student, faculty, or staff, or even a visitor, could be put in imminent danger and we would need to warn them immediately, we would utilize this system," Director of CCU's Emergency Management Carissa Medeiros said.

For now, the mass notification system will only be used for a weather emergency like a tornado warning or an active shooter situation, according to Medeiros.

"There's been a lot of things that have happened on college campuses around the nation, and we want to make sure we are providing every opportunity possible for us to make sure students, faculty, staff, they know if something is going to happen," Medeiros said. 

The system can be heard all over campus. The speakers able to blare sirens, tones or a voice message.

"We're always looking for opportunities to build capability. We look at different things we can use to be able to keep the campus safe, and as technology continues to expand, we want to take advantage of it," Medeiros said. "We also want to build redundant capability because as technology grows and we utilize those systems we don't do away with the older systems. We keep them so we know we're covered on all of our bases."

Coastal already has a notification system in place that texts and emails students and staff, as well as cameras keeping an eye on campus from above.

"It's not that we needed it. It's something we wanted," Medeiros said.

There are also speakers inside ten buildings on campus. This system is able to notify students, staff, and faculty within seconds of initiation. It's a tool for safety, but one authorities hope they never have to use.

"I hope none, zero. That's my goal," Roper said.

This is just the first phase. Officials hope to expand the speaker system to University Place and inside other buildings on campus. At this point though, there's no timeline for when it will be complete.

Copyright 2016 WMBF News. All rights reserved.

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