Students and staff at the Okotoks Bow Valley College campus have a new tool for emergencies and safety with the launch of their CampusAlert app.

Rob Williams, Manager for Security and Emergency Services for Bow Valley College, says CampusAlert has several advantages in emergency situations.

"The main feature of the app is for emergency notifications, such as an extreme weather warning. It's a push notification to all the phones, and for those who don't have a smart phone, we also have SMS text messaging," he said.

Further to text notifications, the capability is available on all desktops on campuses, to ensure notifications reach everyone, even is phones are on silent or unavailable for any reason.

The app is also available for students and staff's friends and family, and has a click to call feature for police, emergency services and campus security, as well as the ability to share location.

Williams, says another one of the many features is the ability to check in when working alone.

"It allows them to set up a contact person, that if they don't check in within a certain time that they set up, the app will remind them to check in. A second notice will go to them, and if they don't respond, it will go immediately to whoever they've set up as their emergency contact person so they can be checked on. That's one of the best features we have on the app," he said.

The app is a free download, and also provides real- time information about urgent situations that require immediate attention or action, such as sever weather alerts, lockdowns and power failures.

Williams adds that communication is key in emergency situations, which is one of many reasons for the development and launch of CampusAlert.

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