Customer Success Story
Informing the Community of Impending Weather and Other Emergencies at the University of Vermont
The University of Vermont is among the oldest universities in the United States and has over 11,000 students and 4,600 staff members across a 460-acre campus.
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For the University of Vermont, informing the versatile community of impending weather and other emergencies can be a significant challenge. The university has over 11,000 students and 4,600 staff members across a 460-acre campus. Reaching the entire university community over a widespread and urban campus and keeping everyone in the know has become a major concern. The environmentally focused and outdoor campus holds some classes in unconventional settings, making access to wifi or desktop computers for communication difficult.
Weather in New England can change on a whim and the need to inform the community quickly of severe weather including winter storms and extreme temperatures is vital to campus safety. The university was also looking for ways to meet CLERY Act requirements, including compliance and reporting capabilities.
Prior UVM fire marshal, John Marcus arrived in his role during arguably one of the most difficult times ever. In March of 2020, John stepped in as the Emergency Manager for the University of Vermont with previous knowledge of Rave solutions. John knew Rave could fill some of the gaps that the 3-ring binders and phone trees couldn’t. John trusted Rave to be the solution for UVM to prevail in such a crucial and uncertain time and continue to serve them when things settled down. Since then, the University of Vermont feels confident in their ability to keep their campus community safe and informed with Rave Alert.
Through strategic relationships between partners, a full-time accredited police department, and emergency operations group, the Emergency Management team delegates tasks and responsibilities so that alerts and notifications get out to the right people at the right time, and everyone is on the same page.
Rave Alert also provides the ability to inform the campus community instantly of severe weather. Students, teachers, and faculty can be notified in seconds when impending weather occurs. UVM notified students of a -50 degree wind chill so that they would not attempt to make it to class in dangerous temperatures – potentially saving lives.
The ability to reach students and staff at any location throughout campus even if they are not in classrooms or dorms is essential. Thanks to Rave Alert UVM can reach people on cell phones, desktop computers, laptops, or any device they keep handy. The versatile campus no longer seems hard to grasp when dealing with emergencies.
“Active shooters, gas leaks, and explosions are rare, but it is my job to stay up at night worrying about those things. Knowing that I can put out an alert to get the word out to my population quickly through Rave if needed is not only comforting, but helpful in mitigating these types of incidents.”
UNIVERSITY OF VERMONT
In the rare case that a critical incident like an active shooter, natural disaster, explosion, etc. occurs, the Emergency Management team feels confident knowing they have the tools and resources in hand to inform their community. Rave Alert gives UVM Emergency Management the ability to get the word out to their entire population quickly to mitigate situations.
“One of our significant threats is a weather event that requires immediate notification to keep people safe. In the winter, we generally have more notice but sometimes things turn quickly where we could have a blizzard, or ice storm. This happened last year with a –50-degree windchill overnight that caused extreme temperatures in the morning for class. Rave was helpful in ensuring all our students know to stay home in events like this.” – John Marvus, Emergency Manager at University of Vermont.
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