Emergency Preparedness in Schools and Senior Homes


It’s important that all companies have a protocol in place that notifies the proper groups or individuals during an emergency or urgent situation. For organizations such as schools, retirement communities, or nursing homes, the need for a protocol can be critical. The responsibility these organizations carry is more pronounced, as they typically manage and care for individuals who are more vulnerable in emergency situations.

In an attempt to provide an improved system of communication during emergencies or urgent situations, Unity Connected Solutions has developed SARA. Short for Situational Awareness and Response Assistant, SARA’s system of alerting and responding in emergency situations separates it from the standard manual systems many organizations currently have in place.

Current Systems are Not Enough

As it stands right now, the emergency communication systems many organizations have in place rely heavily on manual intervention. This means in times of high tension, these institutions are forced to rely on people to make decisions and do so in a consistent manner. For instance, in a situation where students are forced to evacuate the school and a teacher notices he or she is short one student, locating that student would require someone to physically return into the school or approach other teachers to ask if they’ve seen that student.

What SARA offers is an automated system of communication that’s able to work across multiple mobile and other communication devices. Whether that is through e-mail, text, radio, or through a mass broadcast platform, SARA can be automated to send the correct message to the correct people, removing the dependency for people to take these actions.

SARA also allows for communication specific to the urgency of the situation. Not every emergency is life-or-death and not every emergency requires complete evacuation of the building. Some circumstances can be classified as urgent, meaning immediate attention is necessary but only from a select few staff members. An example may be a senior in a retirement community or nursing home who has had an accident. The help they need is urgent and immediate, but does not call for mass broadcast or evacuation.

SARA can be automated to cater to these circumstances. Using the above example, messaging can be set up so that in these specific situations, only a certain group of staff are contacted. Response time then becomes more efficient with only the correct staff present to manage the accident. Time is always precious when dealing with seniors or children, and SARA uses technology to reduce that response time.

Being Prepared Matters

Technology has made it possible for organizations to be better prepared, but only if they are aware of the current technology and how to apply it to the structure of their organization. When speaking of preparation, it is also important to learn from each situation. Not only is SARA automated and capable of making the necessary alerts, but SARA can also capture all of the details of each event, including who was notified, the time they were notified, and confirmation of notification. Reports on each event are stored and will help everyone involved assess where improvements can be made.

Being prepared to react to an emergency is vital, more so when dealing with seniors and young children. Unity Connected Solutions utilizes technology so organizations are much better prepared to react and manage emergencies and urgent situations.

Learn more about SARA by visiting our website.