Whispir: The Key Steps to Managing a Crisis in Schools

Using Twilio APIs, Whispir helps schools map out their crisis management process and deploy crisis communications at the click of a button.

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Whispir: The Key Steps to Managing a Crisis in Schools

No student or staff should ever feel threatened at school. Unfortunately, serious incidents are a growing risk that need to be actively planned for and managed. Schools, universities, and other academic institutions carry the responsibility for the welfare of young and potentially vulnerable students.

Schools also need to communicate with a wide set of audiences including staff, parents, neighboring schools, and education departments. Each of these groups have unique and equally urgent needs for accurate and timely information in the event of any emergency, severe weather event, disease outbreak, technological breakdown, or sadly, violence.

Crisis Communication Technology

A successful crisis response is defined by the capacity to assess the situation and act quickly and decisively while communicating with those who are impacted by the crisis. To resolve emergencies and disasters effectively, schools need effective tools for communication. During an unfolding crisis, a series of seemingly simple tasks can become more difficult to execute, and the chances of human error increase.

Without a proper plan in place, it’s easy for this pressure cooker of risk to lead to missteps with potentially devastating outcomes. To mitigate this risk, having the right technologies in place ahead of time is critical. It’s essential to know what you need to communicate, with whom you need to be communicating, and how you’re going to reach them.

Whispir makes this easy by allowing academic institutions to get the right message to the right people through a single platform. Using Twilio APIs, Whispir helps schools and other businesses engage with their audience through intelligent, data-driven workflows in an easy-to-use application.

Let’s take a look at how Whispir works during a crisis in a school.

Step 1: A school staff member notices the incident.

When a school staff member notices an incident occurring they can act fast by clicking a link on their mobile phone. This link presents as an interactive forum where the staff member can fill out the relevant details of the situation at hand.

Whispir Step 1

Step 2: Whispir alerts the crisis management team.

As soon as the incident is submitted, Whispir sends an incident alert message to each member of a crisis management team that’s been designated ahead of time. The staff member will receive a confirmation message containing the details entered.

Whispir Step 2

Step 3: The crisis management team take action.

Once the crisis management team receives the incident alert message, they can start a conference call to evaluate the incident report. If no further action is required, the incident can remain at the alert level, which sends no further messages until the status is changed or closed. Alternatively, the team can go straight to crisis activation mode and notify teachers, administration staff, contractors, and/or parents.

Whispir Step 3

Step 4: Crisis activation begins.

If escalating the event to an activated incident, you can choose an evacuation, a lockdown or lockout, or just a general activation. Once chosen, Whispir will register the activation and send a brief SMS message to up to four different audience groups including teaching staff, administration staff, contractors, and parents.

While Whispir users can’t be expected to know specific details in advance, message templates for your various crisis categories can be created ahead of time. Information relevant to the actual incident can be added to each message before it sends.

Whispir Step 4

Step 5: Whispir alerts the relevant audiences.

Whispir’s message will contain a link to a more detailed interactive forum, where each audience can find the pertinent information they need. Lockdown and evacuation messages contain buttons the teaching staff can use to respond to the message; the crisis management team will receive their responses.

Whispir Step 5

Step 6: The crisis is updated or closed.

Upon activation, the crisis management team will receive another SMS which will allow them to update the activated incident. Using this incident update form, the team can change the status or alter the description of the event as it develops and send out updated notifications and messages if need be. The incident update form is also used to close the incident once it’s been resolved, and when this happens, a notification will be sent out to all parties.

This comprehensive process ensures that everyone involved in a developing crisis has access to the information they need when they need it, paving the way for an effective resolution.

Whispir Step 6

A Complete School Communication Platform

Communicating under pressure is difficult. And in crisis situations, there’s a lot at stake. With proactive planning, you can minimize the chance of making a critical mistake at the worst time. The right technology helps ensure you’re always prepared for the unexpected. Whispir offers a comprehensive solution that empowers institutions to react quickly to developing situations and keep everyone safe and informed.

Outside of an emergency, Whispir also helps schools run smoothly by automating communication workflows for all types of collaboration. It makes it simple to keep staff up to date with automated notifications. And it allows faculty to share exam results, schedule changes, and other announcements with parents through visually engaging messages. With Whispir, scheduling meetings, communicating IT updates, and coordinating events is faster and easier.

To find out more, go to whispir.com.