Communication and Emergency Preparedness in Schools


Throughout a typical day, a school’s intercom or PA system is the backbone of their inter-school communications. From morning announcements to after-school reminders, educational leaders rely on these overhead messages to communicate with students and teachers. 

While reminders about the afternoon assembly might feel routine for school administrators, an emergent situation can put office staff at the helm of emergency communication. In those urgent moments, every second counts. Carefully documented procedures and routine drills help students, teachers, and administrators know how to react. 

The most successful emergency response plans are clear and concise, with fewer steps to memorize and execute. This not only makes the process easy to follow but also to communicate with others. As part of their emergency response plans, many schools utilize overhead paging or intercom systems to communicate during an incident and provide critical direction to students, staff and teachers. 

But to be effective, these products must be incorporated into a school’s emergency preparedness training well before an incident occurs. Potential users should not only be able to easily locate the system and its devices, but also quickly activate and operate it. Easy-to-use technology can save time, and in an emergency, can also save lives. 

What features ensure a school’s mass communication system is well suited for an emergency situation?

  • Simple Interfaces. A well-designed user interface can take the guesswork out of unfamiliar technology. For example, graphical interfaces utilize the same iconography we are familiar with in smartphones, making navigation more accessible and intuitive.  

  • Automation Capabilities. Features such as scheduled or pre-recorded messages can reduce human error and ensure calm, clear instruction during high-stress situations.

  • Multimedia Communication Methods. Systems that utilize both audio and visual messaging can offer more accessibility. Visual cues help drive comprehension and understanding for everyone on campus. They also help adhere to ADA requirements.

These are all factors that inspired the AtlasIED IP-CONSOLE-GH. Already utilized in schools as a core tool for student and staff communication, the IP-CONSOLE-GH is a VoIP communications console intuitively designed to keep school communities connected and informed during any situation. The IP-CONSOLE-GH uses Singlewire® software to enable users with automation, pre-recorded audible alerts, and mobile messaging. The system also integrates with a variety of visual LCD displays for visual communication.

Other Related Blogs:
Part 1: Security Cameras or Public Address System in K-12 Schools
Why Ambient Noise Sensing is Critical for Critical Alerts