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The Texas A&M off-campus shooting shows how signing up for school text alerts is a good call for students heading back to school, along with their parents or guardians.
As police in College Station, Texas, responded to reports of a shooting near campus Monday, they issued emergency alerts by email, text message, Twitter, and other means.
National news media like CNN kept referring to those official alerts as they covered the emergency -- an example of how vital school text alerts have become.
Since the Virginia Tech massacre in 2007, schools nationwide have made it a priority to set up emergency notification systems for crisis situations, according to the National Clearinghouse for Educational Facilities.
Most school text alert systems, like the one used in the Texas A&M shooting, send simultaneous messages via multiple electronic means. This redundancy is essential in making sure everyone gets the message, the NCEF advises.
Does your school have such a system? Here are some ways to find out:
It's not just colleges and universities using school text alerts either. Some secondary and even elementary schools are using emergency notification systems, as situations like the Texas A&M shooting become all too common.