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Is Your School Prepared For Weather Disasters?

Metal detectors. Surveillance cameras. Security guards. School systems throughout the U. are becoming more and more vigilant in preventing crime and violence on school property.

But are school officials doing all they can when it comes to communications to staff, parents and emergency responders? Earthquakes, hurricanes, floods, tornadoes and other severe weather conditions pose a significant danger to students, staff and school buildings. While most schools have contingency plans in place to deal with weather emergencies, school officials are seeking ways to get their emergency messages out faster and more efficiently. School systems across the U. are adopting an innovative new emergency alert system called the Immediate Response Information System, or IRIS.

Developed by TechRadium Inc., IRIS is a high-speed notification and response service that sends routine, priority and emergency messages electronically to employees, parents and emergency responders throughout the community. To use IRIS, a designated staff member sends a standard message using any phone or Internet-connected computer. In a matter of seconds, IRIS transmits voice and text alerts to all appropriate contact points. These messages are sent to home and cell phones, e-mail addresses, pagers, PDAs and fax machines. Users can pre-select any of 10 different language preferences. Though IRIS is valuable in emergency situations, it also is useful for sending routine school announcements, regarding exam schedules or lunch menus, for instance. IRIS requires no hardware, software or system installation, thus making IRIS an affordable communication system for all school districts.


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