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Date: October 19th, 2011
Submitted By: Mary Bogan   -   Web Site: www.onecallnow.com

It's a Zoo Out There: One Call Now Helps

People in Ohio expect warnings about tornados and snow. But lions and tigers and bears? That’s what happened when 48 exotic animals escaped from a wild-animal preserve in Zanesville, Ohio, just east of Columbus.

Late last night, as news of the loose lions, bears and other wild animals spread, school districts in the region cancelled classes for Wednesday fearing for the safety of their students. Most area schools use One Call Now’s Parent Broadcast notification system for parent communication.

One local district that had not renewed its One Call Now contract found itself in an emergency situation without an emergency notification system. The district purchased a new voice mail system and received what was touted as a parent notification tool as part of that hardware system. Unfortunately, that tool only calls a few numbers at a time. It would have taken the district all night to reach everyone. Worse, it was unavailable that night.

The district called One Call Now, stating that while they no longer had an account, they needed to make an emergency call. One Call Now immediately activated the district’s account at no charge. The district made one phone call to notify all of its parents and staff of the school closing— and urging everyone to remain inside and safe—within minutes.

Leib Lurie, One Call Now’s CEO, said, “Our business is helping organizations plan for the unexpected— protecting, informing, and engaging groups of people. In this case, protecting school children was critical. It’s an important part of what we do.”

As news of this event spreads, school districts and businesses across the country will ask what they would do in a similar situation. “No one thinks about emergency situations happening to them. But they do happen, every day,” Lurie continued. “Our business is about preparing for emergencies. We are ready every hour of every day.”

As animals are rounded up, the schools will use One Call Now to keep parents updated. As a result of this event, school administrators nationwide will review their emergency plans—and One Call Now will stand ready for the next emergency.

About One Call Now

Each day, thousands of parents rely on One Call Now to receive voice, SMS text, and email messages in multiple languages about school emergencies, information, and events. With One Call Now’s high-speed, fully redundant service, schools quickly and easily send messages to up to thousands of people simultaneously. One Call Now is America’s largest message notification provider, with over 19% of American households depending on One Call Now for messages that protect, inform, and engage. Founded in 2002, One Call Now has offices in Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky, Missouri, Georgia, and Florida. The company has been honored as one of Inc. Magazine’s fastest growing privately held companies in America for four consecutive years.