Here is something being touted as the answer to the Virginia Tech problem of how to carry out broadcast notifications of a threat in time to help those under fire.
Mobile alert firm steps outside of comfort zone
Source: SECURITY DIRECTOR NEWS
Vol. 5, No. 9, Sept. 2008
I can't vouch for how good this information is, as it comes from a trade publication that is a thinly veiled cover for advertising vendor wares. Nevertheless, at the root of what makes such a technical solution both viable and marketable is this: helping average people engage in their own protection. Another smart thing about it, presuming it delivers the advertised benefits, is that it allows members of the public to use what they already have -- a cell phone -- instead of requiring them to get special equipment or training. True, they have to sign up with someone who has the software and makes the broadcast notifications, like the campus police or, in the private sector, a facility security office. But how different is this from a savvy society that increasingly signs up for more customized alerts from different sources, just to be actively involved in making one's own decisions about personal security?
In fact, if you want to use your cell phone as an alert device that tells you when a weather emergency or other natural disaster is headed your way, try signing up for free alerts customized by zip code at
These things are encouraging, from a security perspective. They keep us engaged and self-reliant.
- Nick Catrantzos