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Emergency text messaging supports school through water outage

Jenny Clark, Principal of Morrinsville Intermediate shares how she relied on text messaging to keep families in the loop during a series of unplanned water outages.

Residents of the Waikato town of Morrinsville were asked to reduce water usage immediately after the local council applied critical water restrictions. Some parts of the town were left without any water at all after a problem at a local water treatment plant on a Sunday morning.

“The College issued a message saying that they were closing on the Sunday evening so I used email, Facebook and the School-links app to warn parents of a potential closure. We were fine on Monday as we still had a supply of water and had enough bottled water for drinking but by Tuesday the situation had changed.”

Jenny arrived at school at 6.40am and the water supply was very weak. Unable to contact the local Council for more information and needing to let children using buses know what was happening, she decided that the school would be unable to guarantee a supply water nor the level of contamination, so for health and safety reasons decided to close the school.

“I texted the whole school at 7.15am to notify them of a school closure. It was the perfect tool for this scenario when I needed to get a message out fast. I hadn’t used the Emergency Alerts app for over a year, but it was so straightforward.”

Jenny and her team have draft texts set up and ready to go, and she has made sure that both the Deputy Principal and her Personal Assistant are familiar with the system too,

“I’d say just do it. You never know when you might need it.”

With thanks to Morrinsville Intermediate for sharing their experiences to benefit schools new to School-links.

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