Alyssa’s Law, which requires Florida public and charter schools to have silent panic alert systems linked directly to first responder and law enforcement agencies, is an excellent example of legislation that captures solid emergency management practices. We all understand the need to comply with Alyssa’s Law, but why should you go above and beyond the requirements?
Responding to Emergencies Requires More than a Panic Button
Alerting others that there is a crisis is only an initial step in emergency response. To fully protect everyone inside of your schools, your panic alert system needs to seamlessly integrate with a comprehensive emergency management platform that incorporates policies, personnel, partners, and technology to accomplish the following:
Manage drills that enable students, teachers, and staff to respond to events confidently.
It is virtually impossible to predict every emergency, but schools still have the opportunity—and responsibility—to accomplish a lot by preparing for any type of crisis. Drills familiarize your school and community with your emergency operations plan (EOP) as well as individual responsibilities, roles, and actions. Training, including active shooter training, can also teach students, teachers, and other staff how to prevent and survive these incidents and other violent threats.
Instantly summon the appropriate help, connect with 9-1-1, and share critical location data.
A mobile panic alert system can greatly expedite awareness and response by enabling all teachers and staff to quickly summon help, directly connect with 9-1-1, and send detailed, situation-specific alerts to a custom list of recipients from wherever they are on campus. It’s imperative that you can share your location on an interactive map and send permission-based mass notifications based on your location. This capability allows users to seamlessly switch between campuses and expedite response by letting responders know exactly where they are needed. Powerful mapping technology also reduces the potential for false alarms by instantly confirming where the user is when they initiate a panic alert. The panic alert system should also allow teachers and staff to summon the appropriate help for localized incidents, such as student fights, suspicious activity, vandalism, or playground injuries, that may not require first responder assistance.
Provide immediate access to critical school information and efficiently communicate during the crisis.
Customizing your panic alert system to your emergency response protocols ensures that teachers, staff, and first responders stay in compliance with your policies and are speaking the same language during an emergency. Quick and easy access to detailed school maps allow first responders to better react to emergencies in unfamiliar locations, which can reduce response time and ultimately save lives. It’s also imperative that everyone can stay updated throughout the crisis. The most powerful panic alert systems allow users to communicate through group messaging channels while also accessing your protocols and maps in one application.
Seamlessly monitor and account for the status of everyone on campus throughout an incident.
It’s important that teachers and staff can account for anyone—students, staff, visitors, guardians, and contractors—on campus, not necessarily just the students on their rosters. If an emergency begins during an assembly when students and visitors are dispersed, an accountability solution—one that is ideally integrated with the panic alert system—enables them to quickly see their class rosters, search for others by name, and share statuses with first responders and incident commanders. The solution should provide details of each individual, including their location, status, medical conditions, allergies, and if they are students, their guardians’ contact information.
Efficiently reunify each student with their approved guardian.
Knowing student status—including if the student is missing or injured—is critical during reunification. Using a reunification system that integrates with your accountability solution ensures that you have access to real-time student data, status, and location. It’s also imperative that you can accurately confirm the guardian’s identity, check for sex offender status, check for custodial restrictions, and capture their signature at reunification. This eliminates inaccuracy, reduces liability, and ensures students are only reunified with approved guardians.
Fully Protect Your Schools with an Integrated Solution
When evaluating panic alert systems for Alyssa’s Law compliance, consider how the solution supports these emergency management objectives. Trusted by 73% of Florida districts, Raptor® Emergency Management helps schools accomplish these objectives by allowing them to manage drills, summon help for any incident, account for all individuals in an emergency, and reunify students with their guardians—all in one, integrated platform.
Raptor was founded in 2002 with the mission to protect every child, every school, every day. Over 70% of Florida districts—and over 35,000 K-12 schools nationwide—are protected by at least one Raptor integrated safety solution. To learn more about Raptor, contact us today to set up a personalized demo.