No Price for Safety

The Alertus Desktop Donation Initiative helps schools alert students during emergencies.

The Alertus Desktop Donation Initiative helps schools alert students during emergencies.

With students returning to class this week, school administrators and safety personnel return to their responsibility of keeping them safe during any emergency situation. Fortunately, most schools are ready by having emergency preparedness plans in place that include some method of emergency mass communication.

In many cases, the primary method of emergency notification is SMS text and email alert systems. These communication methods are effective in today’s digitally connected world, but they can still miss students who might be in a building with poor cell phone reception, or their teacher or professor requires all cell phones to be turned off during class.


Most school officials recognize the need to address this potential gap in communications by expanding their school’s current emergency communication system. At many schools like Gordon College in Wenham, MA, there is little or no money to dedicate towards creating a more robust mass notification system.

To help provide schools some financial flexibility to upgrade their systems, Alertus established the Alertus Desktop™ Donation Initiative several years ago. The program provides schools the Alertus Desktop Notification, at no cost, so they can enhance their emergency notification efforts.

When activated, the Alertus Desktop Notification can immediately reach students, faculty, and staff and spread across campuses of any size—even multiple affiliated campuses spread miles apart—with a full-screen, pop-up alert message on all or select PC and Mac screens. The tool easily integrates with existing third-party mass notification software and systems including text and email. Recently, the Alertus Desktop was updated with new features, including the capability for users to receive alerts through a locked computer screen.

The integration with our existing systems along with the grant made Alertus an obvious choice for our campus.
— Todd Becker, Emergency Manager, North Carolina State University

We’re thrilled that more hundreds of schools have taken advantage of this philanthropic effort. Some of the higher education institutions and K-12 school districts that have benefited from the program include North Carolina State University, Gordon College, Daemen College, Randolph-Macon College, the College of William and Mary, Louisiana State University, Vanderbilt University, Burke County Public Schools, and the Chartwells Ottawa School District.

Schools and select non-profit organizations interested in more information and to apply for a grant can visit

Greg Smith