SEARK College provides the SEARKAlert emergency notification system. SEARKAlert can rapidly provide mass notifications during natural disasters or other emergencies taking place on campus. SEARKAlert uses an opt-out method of registration to provide faculty, staff and enrolled students with voice, text, and email notifications. All students and employees are automatically registered in SEARKAlert at the time of enrollment or employment. Individuals have the opportunity to opt-out of receiving text and/or voice alerts at any time. (Note: Cellular phone providers may charge a per-text message fee for the delivery of emergency notification.) SEARKAlert has been programmed by the SEARK College Information Technology Department to update and purge users every 24 hours. This automated programming ensures accuracy in the delivery of alerts to all currently enrolled students and employees. Face to face communication may be used if appropriate for the situation.
SEARKAlert may be activated in the event of an immediate threat to the College community. Authorized officials of SEARK College will determine if an emergency notification is necessary. The types of incidents that may cause an immediate threat to the community could include, but are not limited to, emergencies such as: inclement weather, an active shooter on campus, a hostage/barricade situation, a riot, a suspicious package with confirmation of a device, a tornado, a fire/explosion, a suspicious death, structural damage to College owned or controlled facility, a biological threat (anthrax, etc.), significant flooding, a gas leak, a hazardous materials spill, etc.
In the event of an emergency, SEARK College will initiate and provide, without delay, immediate notifications to the appropriate segment(s) of the College community upon the confirmation of a significant emergency or dangerous situation involving an immediate threat to the health or safety of students, or employees occurring on campus.
Upon confirmation that a significant emergency or dangerous situation exists, an authorized SEARK College official will, without delay, and taking into account the safety of the community, determine the content of the notification and initiate the SEARKAlert notification system, unless issuing a notification will, in the professional judgment of responsible authorities, compromise efforts to assist a victim or to contain, respond to, or otherwise mitigate the emergency. These departments will also identify the appropriate segment of the community intended to receive the notification, if the threat is limited to a particular building or segment of the population.
NOTE: In the event of inclement weather conditions, students and non-essential employees are not expected to place class or work attendance above personal safety. It is ultimately the individual employee and student’s responsibility to exercise judgment as to whether travel to or from work or school is appropriate for them at that time.
To assist in timely notification, pre-scripted emergency alerts have been developed and uploaded in SEARKAlert (e.g. Inclement Weather, Active Shooter, Active Shooter All Clear, Tornado Warning, and Tornado Warning All Clear). The College will post updates and follow-up information during a critical incident on the SEARK College website at: http://www.seark.edu
The local news media may be utilized to disseminate emergency information to members of the larger community, including neighbors, parents and other interested parties. The larger community can also access emergency information via the SEARK College homepage and/or social media.
SEARKAlert provides the capability to alert ALL USERS (which includes all employees and students on all campuses and Early College High School students).
Each month, each SEARKAlert administrator conducts a test of the system.
This practice is designed to ensure that each system administrator can successfully navigate the SEARKAlert dashboard in a timely manner to successfully initiate the alert during an actual emergency.
Each semester SEARKAlert administrators conducts an ALL USERS test of SEARKAlert. In the fall semester the test is announced in advance to the entire campus community and is unannounced in the spring semester. Both tests provide faculty, staff and students an opportunity to verify enrollment in SEARKAlert by receipt of a text, email and/or voice message.
A final feature of SEARKAlert, provides the capability for all members of the Executive Council to text message an alert to “ALL USERS” directly from his/her cell phone.
Information regarding the response and notification policies will be distributed to faculty and staff during annual meetings and to students during orientation sessions.