This blog post is about the importance of risk management and situational awareness technology, especially for K-12 schools and higher education institutions. A link to a pre-recorded risk management webinar appears at the conclusion of this post.
This week we paused to reflect on what happened at Columbine High School 17 years ago. It was one of the deadliest school shootings in American history, sparking a national discussion on school security and subsequently launching new companies and technologies focused on the issue – including Status Solutions and situational awareness for threat detection and response management.
But the deadliest school-related disaster in the United States didn’t involve a mass shooting. In March of 1937 – 10 minutes before the final bell was supposed to ring at a school in New London, Texas, – a gas explosion occurred, killing more than 300 students and teachers. What’s relevant here, regarding what we observe today in our schools but also across any industry, is lack of foresight. Indeed, the the court of inquiry determined that school officials were “ignorant or indifferent to the need for precautionary measures, where they cannot, in their lack of knowledge, visualize a danger or a hazard.”
A Better Risk Management Strategy and Situational Awareness Technology Is Important to Life Safety
So many times we put up a guardrail after an incident instead of having the foresight and initiative to construct it in the first place. That’s why being strategic and holistic about risk management is so important. Obviously, loss of life is very disturbing and leads organizations to take action to increase protection. After the gas explosion mentioned above, a law was passed requiring odor to be added to natural gas as a warning sign, an indication of a leak.
Of course, assessing an incident after the fact is a way to gather and then apply lessons learned, but having advance knowledge before or while it’s unfolding could potentially prevent or at least lessen the impact. Loss is loss and bound to happen to your organization. While hopefully you will be able to avoid tragic loss of life or an environmental disaster with long-term effects, every single day something happens in your facility that effects people, property, business or convenience that could have been prevented if you had certain information.
With situational awareness technology, you can integrate and automate monitoring, alerting and reporting for life safety as well as for applications related to security, environmental monitoring and mass notification. Visibility into what’s happening in and around your organization and the ability to control all of your screens and communication devices ensures that relevant data reaches the right people in real time to speed response, especially in the event of an emergency.
Here’s a Pre-Recorded Webinar with Tips to Improve Your Risk Management Strategy
We invite you to listen to our risk management webinar to learn how to improve situational awareness at your campus or school. You’ll hear about the different applications for situational awareness technology, along with specific case studies from various industries and how those customers got started and continue to realize value from proactive, integrated and automated awareness. You and your staff will be challenged to answer these questions:
- – What is our risk management strategy?
- – Does it account for all stakeholders?
- – Is it comprehensive enough to cover common and uncommon occurrences?
- – Are we leveraging the right technologies?