Journal of Contingencies and Crisis Management

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Volume 25 Issue 4 (December 2017), Pages 195-403

The clock is ticking: Temporal dynamics of campus emergency notifications (pages 370-375)


As first responders to incidents, public safety officials must quickly converge on meaning of what occurred, the threat to the university and what information is pertinent to the campus community. Utilizing in‐depth interviews with current campus public safety officials in the Washington, D.C. metro area, this study explored how emergency communicators interpret the concept of timely in campus emergency notification decision‐making and what factors impact their ability to enact this interpretation. Findings from this suggested that the temporal ambiguity of the law creates differing expectations of timely, with prealert processes impacting how quickly notifications can be sent. Further findings indicate that universities with the more sophisticated emergency management roles also had the more robust emergency notification functions.

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