The Emory Office of Critical Event Preparedness and Response (CEPAR) has announced that starting Nov. 5, the University will be implementing a new, faster emergency notification system to inform the community of events like natural disasters, law enforcement and hazardous material emergencies and weather emergencies.

According to the CEPAR website, the emergency notification program is “a multi-modal system for alerting students, staff, faculty and visitors of an emergency affecting the Emory community.”

“Emory chose to improve our existing system and enhance our emergency response with the new notification system that is faster and more efficient,” Senior Administrator of CEPAR Sam Shartar said. “The current system, which remains in place, will also serve as a redundant, back-up system and has been an adequate system for our needs up to this point.”

According to Shartar, the new emergency notification system “processes messages at a faster rate, allows for confirmation that the messages have been delivered to the device and allows us to activate all of the modes that we use for emergency notification with a single activation,” or what he referred to as a “one button push.”

Additionally, while the CEPAR office is going to continue to use the same modes of communication, the notifications will be more comprehensive.

The introduction of the new emergency notification system falls in line with National Preparedness Month, a national movement hosted by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for institutions across the country to review their emergency preparedness plans.

According to a Sept. 8 University press release, the 2014 National Preparedness Month theme is “Be Disaster Aware, Take Action to Prepare.”

“National Preparedness Month is an opportunity to remind the Emory community that learning how to prepare for emergencies helps to make our community more resilient and better prepared,” Shartar said.

According to Shartar, some of these actions include knowing severe refuge locations on campus, reviewing the information provided on the CEPAR website and other emergency skills such as learning first aid and CPR.

–By Dana Youngentob