New Alert System Announces School Closings, Delays

Severe weather, natural disasters, outbreaks of contagious illnesses, power failures or other unforeseen circumstances can cause a school to close for the day, open late or close early.

For parents rushing to get up and out in the morning, it becomes a hassle to have to wait by the TV or radio to see if reporters announce a delay or closing at their children’s school.

Those days may be coming to an end, thanks to an innovative new emergency alert system that quickly informs parents of school schedule changes.

School systems across the U.S. are adopting the Immediate Response Information System, or IRIS. Developed by TechRadium Inc., IRIS is a high-speed notification system that sends messages electronically to thousands of people at a time.

To operate IRIS, a designated staff member uses an Internet-connected computer or a phone to send the message, which is then transmitted to phones, e-mail accounts, pagers, PDAs and fax machines.

To ensure that the message was received, IRIS confirms completion and redials all missed contacts. Messages can be sent in one of 10 languages.

IRIS is valuable in sending emergency messages as well as routine school announcements. It requires no hardware, software or system installation for setup, making it a cost-effective way for parents and other community members to stay connected with their local schools.

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