Using to Respond to a Flu Outbreak On Your Campus

On higher-education campuses, emergency notification systems are typically used for unplanned, short-term public safety concerns where you need to get an announcement out to large group of people as fast as possible.  These mass notification tools are usually controlled by a public safety or law-enforcement operation and reserved for certain types of security events and campus wide emergencies. Often times, they are connected to a fire alarm system.



There is a need for mass notification tools that can be used for all types of urgent events.  Sometimes these events can be more localized such as those that impact just s segment of the campus population or a specific area like a single building or group of structures.


Sometimes you just need to take an impromptu headcount.


Certain critical events can look more like an ongoing campaign.  These use cases can span days and week and these are well suited for most mass notification systems.  Responding to a widespread flu outbreak in your residential housing program is an example of this.


Spread of illness like the flu or norovirus can catch up with you quickly if you’re not prepared.


This is why the University of South Carolina chose


When the flu rolls in, the University of South Carolina Housing department can send out a mass notification to their on-campus residents notifying them of the rise in flu cases and asking them to report if they are sick.  When housing residents receive the notification from, they just tap a link in the message to launch the app. No prior installation or login is required.


Using, they can indicate if they are doing fine, feeling like they are coming down with something or sick with the flu.  Based on their response, the on-campus housing staff, residential advisors and student health services teams can better monitor the spread of the flu.


Using the two-way communication tools, these responders can make sure people are staying in bed, that they are getting food, staying hydrated and have access to medical care if they need it.  The last thing the on-campus housing staff wants is for their student’s to get up and mingle with the rest of the population increasing the chance of spreading illness.


There are a few things that make well suited for this use case: integrates directly with residential housing software and student information systems, in real-time, ensuring that the latest contact information and location information is used for the campaign.


Like all Mass Notification systems, sends notifications to mobile devices via text message and push notification and to email.  But unlike most notifications systems, isn’t done working for you after that initial notification is sent. By clicking on the Lassie message, the students can engage in two-way chat with the campus responders.  These campaigns can remain active for as long as is needed. In the event of a flu outbreak, a recipient might report they are feeling fine one week and then fall ill the next.


These days, It’s rare that a student doesn’t have a modem mobile device within reach.  These devices enable location reporting. If the student wants to share their location with a responder, they can do that easily with Lassie with a tap of a button.  This can make it easier to deliver help to the person in need. is built for scale.  The University of South Carolina has over 5,000 residents.  Using Lassie’s high spend notification delivery, all 5,000+ students are contacted in less than 2 minutes.


Technology has opened a wealth of opportunities for to improve information, communication and speed of response for all types of events.  A serious flu outbreak is no exceptions.


If you want to follow this topic, please subscribe to our blog.  At, we’re working on adding artificial intelligence (AI) to the two-communication tools so you can let Lassie help increase your bandwidth in an emergency.