What’s the difference between a timely warning and an emergency notification?

For schools, that distinction could mean the difference between compliance and violation of Clery Act requirements, or worse: unnecessary risks to students.

As with macaroons and macarons, the similar-yet-distinct meanings are also a frequent source of confusion the Clery Center recently covered in its FAQ Friday.

“Timely warnings and emergency notifications are two separate types of alerts,” shared Clery Center presenters:

Timely warnings are reserved for situations where a Clery crime occurring in Clery geography poses a serious or ongoing threat to the campus community,” they explained.

Emergency notification was a more recent addition to the Clery Act that came about after the tragedy of Virginia Tech. If there’s an immediate threat to the health and safety of the campus community, the institution would issue an emergency notification,” they added. Unlike timely warnings, applications for emergency notifications are broader than crime and can include weather incidents, gas leaks, fires, disease outbreak and more — anything that poses an immediate threat.

Another helpful distinction between timely warnings and emergency notifications

Timely warnings apply to incidents that already occurred (although there’s continued prep and monitoring if there’s a chance it could happen again). By contrast, emergency notifications anticipate a potential future incident.

Here’s the full video:

Related resources: