Ready for the unexpected – or do you fall like a leaf?
Don’t you love this time year and all that autumn brings – New England Patriots games, fabulous fall foliage, apple-picking adventures, cranberry culinary delights, and pumpkin-spiced lattes?
OK, not everything is a colorful delight. We are also entering wacky weather season in Boston, a prelude to what the Farmer’s Almanac is predicting will be another Polar Vortex-like winter.
The rain and wind will eventually give way to snow storms, which might not be so bad if all of us could hibernate in a log-cabin next to a raging fire place. But in the real world, inclement weather can also bring with it power outages, flooding, gas line ruptures, and a host of other possibly dangerous/always frustrating inconveniences.
And yes there’s an app for that, of course.
It’s called Massachusetts Alerts, a free second-generation app first launched by the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency two years ago. The new and improved emergency notification tool, however, doesn't just send out mobile meteorological forecasts.
Massachusetts Alerts also notifies users of hazardous material spills, evacuation orders, shelter-in-place orders, Amber alerts, warnings about unsafe drinking water supplies, and other sorts of public safety incidents. The alerts are sent out in real-time, based on the user’s location, proximity to an event or incident, and the preferences selected.
No, you don’t get a set of steak-knives with the app but there are other several free features. Massachusetts Alerts also provides preparedness tips and information, directs users to online resources “to help them prepare for, manage during, and recover from the wide range of natural, technological and man-made hazards.”
With campus safety being top of mind for colleges in Boston this year, many are looking to the technology sector for smart (phone) solutions...
Fisher College Campus Police Chief Deborah Crafts is a fan of the new MEMA app.
“It's important for campus safety officials, students and communities as a whole to be connected to MEMA. The information they provide is simply critical and the timeliness of getting it out there is important. The app delivery method seems to be a very effective method of accomplishing this,” Crafts said.
Crafts said she recommends every Fisher College student download the Massachusetts Alerts app, the next time they are perusing the app store on their Smartphones.
Oh, and while app shopping, don’t forget to download another free app being offered exclusively to Fisher students this fall. It’s called Life Button 24, one of the newest campus safety apps.
Just in case you missed it: over the summer, Fisher College partnered with the creators of Life Button 24, an app that instantly connects students with safety personnel in an emergency situation. It uses geo-fencing technology and can assist any student who may feel they are in an uncomfortable or potentially dangerous situation on or around Fisher’s Boston campus, while at home, on Spring Break, or any anywhere in the continental U.S.
Life Button 24 also has two-way communication, a silent mode for responders to listen in the event the caller is unable to speak, and a video/photo feature that allows students to send images and video of a crisis to emergency responders in real time.
Are you ready for the unexpected – or would you rather let the winds of circumstance determine your destination like a leaf blown across the Boston Commons?
Campus safety is a priority for all universities and colleges in Boston this Fall. Take advantage of the systems and resources made available to you. If you are lucky enough to be a Fisher College student this year, don't forget to download the FREE Life Button 24 app.
Questions about Campus Safety, MEMA or the Life Button 24 app? Post a comment!