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Purdue Fort Wayne launches security apps, text alerts

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WOWO): Purdue University Fort Wayne is taking some steps to ensure safety for everyone on campus.

The school announced today it has set up new tools in the form of free apps and text alerts, as described in an official press release:

Rave Panic Button helps keep faculty and staff informed of emergencies on campus and accelerates emergency responses by immediately informing 911 about the nature and location of the situation, as well as simultaneously notifying designated members of our campus community with the push of a button.

Rave Guardian is available to students, faculty, and staff. It turns your smartphone into a personal safety device. Invite friends and family to join your own private safety network. You can then request one or more of your “Guardians” to virtually walk with you on or off-campus. No matter the situation you are in, university resources are only two clicks away and can provide you with the support you need.

“As technologies grow, people rely on their smartphones more and more as a safety net,” said Lisa Zerkle, Purdue Fort Wayne’s director of campus events and its emergency preparedness and planning coordinator. “At the push of a button, this product suite provides personal protection and information tools that can go wherever you go. In addition to 911, the apps simultaneously alert key responders on campus, which saves precious seconds in an emergency.”

While systems that generate emergency text alerts aren’t necessarily new to most college students, what is new at Purdue Fort Wayne is making the alerts available to family members or anyone else who wants to stay abreast of unexpected situations on campus.

SMS Opt In allows friends of Purdue Fort Wayne to receive the same notifications students, faculty, and staff are registered to receive via the Rave Text Alert System. By texting PurdueFWAlert1 or PurdueFWAlert16 to CAMPUS (226787), anyone without a university login ID can get any emergency alert delivered for the next week or 16 weeks. Automatic notifications are also sent when the subscription is up, at which time the user can choose to continue to receive the text alerts or simply opt out.

“For many of our students, this is their first experience being away from key members of their support system-parents, siblings, close friends-for any extended period of time,” said Krissy Creager, vice chancellor for student affairs, Purdue University Fort Wayne. “The better we are at cultivating a safe and positive environment on campus, the more engaged our students will be seeking out the wonderful opportunities available to them. Helping families feel more involved, and more at ease, can be an important ingredient in this recipe for success.”

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