Toronto Eaton Center Shooting – Case for Emergency Notification

The Toronto Eaton Center shooting was last Saturday June 2.  Eaton Center is a Toronto landmark attracting millions of visitors annually. Being a Saturday, the Mall which boasts 230 retailers and an underground subway likely had anywhere from 2000 to 4000 people in it. Kudos to Toronto Police for getting everyone out fast and the situation under control within minutes and handling the injured so quickly and ensuring that there was no further loss of life. Malls have not typically considered EMNS but should. There was no Mass Notification Alerting during the mall shooting. A system like the Amika Mobility Server which can broadcast to auto-discovered wired/mobile devices in the mall would have been very useful in getting the word out to mall mobile devices, loudspeakers and overhead displays. It could have also provided quick updates to calm everyone down. Twitter alerts broadcast by Blue Jay player Brett Lawrie have been widely hyped. Twitter is a key alerting medium in social networks but one has to be careful not to rely on it fully for emergencies as information broadcast may or may not be correct as per everything else on the Net. Instead, Twitter should be a layer in the notification toolbox.   …Dr. Sue Abu-Hakima, CEO Amika Mobile

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