Preparing for Emergencies on College Campuses and Universities

Be prepared and keep everyone safe on any sized campus. Spend a few minutes reading this article to learn how. A two-way radio system is one of the most important tools a university or college campus can have to ensure the safety of students, faculty and staff members. Safety is always the number 1 concern in all public locations, and especially on busy college and university campuses. In 2003, the Department of Homeland Security launched Ready, their national public service advertising (PSA) campaign to educate the public so they could effectively prepare for and respond to any emergency situation. On their official website, they have a section with essential information and resources specifically for university and college campus security. After the September 11 attacks in 2001 and subsequent emergency situations at colleges across the country, campuses set up their own emergency preparedness and response teams and now have standard emergency procedures.

Communication is Essential in an Emergency A key part of being prepared in the event of an emergency is being able to keep lines of communication open to relay vital information. Whether it's a natural disaster such as a snowstorm or hurricane, or a man-made catastrophe such as a robbery or an active shooter, a university must be prepared for anything. Equipping security personnel and key administrators with high performance two-way radios makes perfect sense, as it allows instant communication that's private and secure, and in cases where cell phone service might be overloaded, it's the most reliable way to relay critical information.

Selecting a Two-Way Radio System for a College Campus When choosing a two-way radio system for a college campus, there are several things to consider. Since you'll want a unit that has a clear signal inside buildings and across a large outside area with various obstructions, UHF radios are the best option. While VHF radios have a wider range than UHF radios outdoors, they do not operate as effectively when confronted with substances such as concrete, steel and wood. Therefore, when your transmissions must be able to penetrate walls, ceilings and floors, choose a UHF radio. You will also want to make sure that the walkie-talkie system that you select is strong enough for the range you require. There are smaller, more compact single-watt units available, but for larger campuses, you might require a stronger wattage radio. Certain models are repeater capable, which means they can be used with repeaters that can receive radio signals and retransmit at a higher power to cover a greater distance. For college campuses, the repeater (with an external antenna) can be located at the main security location.

Call Boxes for Instant Security Notification College campus security can be beefed up considerably with the use of a high-powered two-way radio system and strategically-placed call boxes. A call box can be placed anywhere in a building. When someone presses the button, it instantly notifies personnel who are carrying portable two-way radios. Ideal locations for call boxes might include residential dorms, cafeterias, sports stadiums, student centers and other public areas.

Preparing for potential emergencies at college campuses is more important than ever, but increased vigilance and the right equipment, tools and resources will keep everyone secure.