Saint Mary's College Launches New Emergency Notification System

For Immediate Release
Michael McAlpin
Director of Media Relations
(925) 631-4222
[email protected]

Moraga, CA, (June 17, 2009) – Saint Mary's College of California announced today the immediate deployment of the Gael Alert emergency communication and preparedness service. Gael Alert will provide College administrators and public safety personnel with the ability to reach students, faculty and staff with time-sensitive information within minutes. The system will be used to keep members of the Saint Mary's community informed about emergencies, such as school closures and contingency plans due to unforeseen incidents.

"Today we are forced to prepare for situations that years ago we never could have anticipated happening," said Brother President Ronald Gallagher. "We recognize the importance of immediate communication during emergencies and have implemented Gael Alert because it can send targeted, time-sensitive voice and text messages to our students, faculty and staff members wherever they are."

Saint Mary's new emergency announcement system will allow officials to contact students and staff via:

• Voice messages to home phones, work phones, cell phones, and even e-mail addresses
• Text messages to cell phones, PDAs, networked digital signage, and other text-based devices

• Text messages to e-mail accounts
• Messages to TTY/TDD receiving devices for the hearing impaired

"In time-sensitive situations it's crucial that we are able to notify members of the Saint Mary's College community quickly because up-to-date communication helps restore order, provides direction and minimizes the spread of misinformation," said Saint Mary's Public Safety Chief Bill Foley.

Gael Alert is Saint Mary's version of the Connect-ED® emergency communication and preparedness service. Connect-ED was designed exclusively for post-secondary institutions using the experience gained in delivering hundreds of millions of messages for educators over the past seven years. The Connect-ED service has been successfully used for communication by schools across the country during emergency situations, such as the wildfires in Southern California, Hurricane Katrina, Hurricane Ernesto, and school evacuations. It has also been used for campus notifications required by the Clery Act and to help locate missing persons.