Blackboard Mass Notification Services Help Schools and Communities Prepare for Hurricane Season
Leaders Prepare for Severe Weather Using Communication Technology to Send Alerts, Safety Instructions
WASHINGTON, June 9, 2011 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ --
One week into hurricane season, Blackboard Inc. (Nasdaq: BBBB) is helping local governments, K-12 schools and college campuses prepare for managing communications during severe storms. To get ready, education and government leaders are using Blackboard's trusted mass notification services, Blackboard Connect(TM) and AlertNow(TM), to send alerts and safety instructions to their entire communities within minutes, even if areas are evacuated.
Onslow County, North Carolina, home to more than 170,000 residents on the state's Atlantic Coast, has a comprehensive communication plan in place for this year's hurricane season. The county has used the Blackboard Connect platform during dozens of severe weather incidents, including tropical storms and hurricanes, to send critical messages including preparation tips, evacuation alerts, all-clear messages, volunteer updates and recovery updates.
"Constant and consistent updates can help reduce confusion and reassure the community in the event of a hurricane," said Lisa Whitman-Grace, Onslow County's Public Information Officer. "The Blackboard Connect system has been a critical component of our emergency preparedness and response efforts during hurricane season, and throughout the year. We conduct routine tests of the system to make sure residents are prepared to receive urgent information."
"Effective communication is absolutely critical to ensure a swift and successful response during hurricanes and other tropical storms," said Ed Miller, President of Blackboard Connect. "The Blackboard Connect platform has been the trusted mass notification service for local communities and we take great pride in the fact that we have proven our speed and reliability time and again during hurricane season."
As the recent spate of tornadoes and storms across the Southeast demonstrated, severe summer weather is not limited to hurricanes. Blackboard mass notification clients have sent nearly 3 million messages as they deal with the aftermath of tornadoes, with automated weather alerts, all-clear messages, boil-water notices, debris removal notices and relief aid information.
After tornadoes touched down in Alabama's Limestone County School District in April, the district sent several messages using AlertNow, a service of Blackboard Connect, to keep parents and staff informed on how the district was responding to the situation. As families dealt with property loss, schools went without power and water, and buses had limited access to certain regions of the county; however the district was able to maintain a sense of calm and urgency in the wake of the storm.
"Events like this can really test a community - but they can also bring it together," said Barry Carroll, Limestone County Superintendent. "Having Blackboard mass notification tools at our disposal was invaluable in our response to the tornadoes that ripped through our community. Our AlertNow messages reinforced the sense that everyone was in this together - that we are all family."
The Blackboard notification services are designed to deliver fast, reliable and seamless communications during severe seasonal storms and time-sensitive events. Blackboard's leading platform for mass notification technology is capable of delivering millions of messages per hour through multiple communication channels - including voice, email, SMS and social media alerts - with 99.999 percent uptime, thanks to the company's investments in message capacity and strong relationships with telecommunications networks.
For more information about Blackboard's mass notification solutions, visit http://www.blackboard.com/connect.
About Blackboard Inc.
Blackboard Inc. (NASDAQ: BBBB) is a global leader in enterprise technology and innovative solutions that improve the experience of millions of students and learners around the world every day. Blackboard's solutions allow thousands of higher education, K-12, professional, corporate, and government organizations to extend teaching and learning online, facilitate campus commerce and security, and communicate more effectively with their communities. Founded in 1997, Blackboard is headquartered in Washington, D.C., with offices in North America, Europe, Asia and Australia.
Any statements in this press release about future expectations, plans and prospects for Blackboard and other statements containing the words "believes," "anticipates," "plans," "expects," "will," and similar expressions, constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Actual results may differ materially from those indicated by such forward-looking statements as a result of various important factors, including the factors discussed in the "Risk Factors" sections of the Company's Form 10-K filed on February 18, 2011 and Form 10-Q filed on May 9, 2011 with the SEC. In addition, the forward-looking statements included in this press release represent the Company's views as of June 9, 2011. The Company anticipates that subsequent events and developments will cause the Company's views to change. However, while the Company may elect to update these forward-looking statements at some point in the future, the Company specifically disclaims any obligation to do so. These forward-looking statements should not be relied upon as representing the Company's views as of any date subsequent to June 9, 2011.
SOURCE Blackboard Inc.