Friday, October 23, 2009

Get life-saving text messages

We live in a communication age.  Mobile computing, text messaging and the Internet allow us to send and receive messages and information at the push of a button.

Utah Valley University has launched a text messaging system for students and staff that provides instant notification of important information that affects people's lives.  Think Virgina Tech.  Think Columbine High.  Both were events on a large campus that ended with lives lost while the rest of the population on those campuses struggled to understand what was happening.

We live in an age where anything can happen in the blink of an eye.  Think World Trade Center on 9/11.  What could be the power of text messaging be as a means of minimizing the damage from terrorist attacks?  When people know what's going on they can then make informed choices that can result in better outcomes.

A few weeks ago, a white powder was discovered in the ROTC offices in the Woodbury Business Building (WB) on the UVU campus.  Anthrax?  Poison?  People were scared.   Everyone errs on the side of caution in these types of incidents and the WB was evacuated until hours later experts declared the substance to be benign.

The text messaging system was employed to keep the campus updated on what was going on.  The information quelled panic while allowing those that received the news to decide whether they wanted to leave campus.

Getting signed up to receive instant text messages regarding important happenings at UVU is so easy.  We just don't know what can happen at any minute, but by being available to news via text messaging from those in the know, we can be sure to stay in the loop, guaranteeing that we know what we must know to stay safe.

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