Momprenuer Tackles Campus Safety with App for College Students and Their Parents

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After her daughter found herself in a major crisis while away at college, Gail Schenbaum co-founded Umergency™, a college safety app that provides parents and students with all the tools needed to navigate through any emergency, health or safety situation.

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“Parents eagerly want to be connected to their children and prepared to deal with anything especially in today’s volatile campus environment,” said Gail Schenbaum.

EDITOR’S NOTE: GAIL SCHENBAUM IS AVAILABLE FOR MEDIA COMMENTARY TO DISCUSS SCHOOL CAMPUS SAFETY TRENDS.

Gail Schenbaum co-founded Umergency™ after her daughter found herself in a major crisis while away at college.

The phone rang in the middle of the night. “Mom, I’m okay but it’s really bad,” said Alex, Gail’s daughter. Moments later, the EMT got on the line and said, “We’re pulling into the ER with a partial amputation. We’ll call you back.” Click.

As a parent, Gail didn’t have the necessary information at her fingertips to deal with the emergency. What hospital was the ambulance taking Alex to? Who could Gail speak with? How could she get in touch with Alex’s resident advisor or roommate? Feeling helpless and not knowing where to turn for the fastest answers on her daughter’s condition left Gail desperate for information.

From that harrowing experience, Gail created Umergency, the all-in-one college safety app built with both parents and students in mind. Available for download in the App Store and Google Play, Umergency provides a variety of accessible on- and off-campus resources, including an Urgent Alert beacon that notifies parents and other trusted contacts when immediate help is needed, along with the student’s GPS location. The app also features an “I am safe” function that alerts these contacts when a student is no longer in danger.

“Parents eagerly want to be connected to their children and prepared to deal with anything especially in today’s volatile campus environment,” said Schenbaum. “Thankfully, everything turned out fine with my daughter’s ER experience. Through the process, however, I learned that I wasn’t alone, and many college parents are unprepared if something happens when their child is away at school.”

Umergency provides parents and students with all the tools needed to navigate through any emergency, health or safety situation. Local and on-campus information comes pre-populated and is specific to each student’s campus, while the user-entered data is unique to each student and allows them to decide what to share and with whom. Emergency resource contacts, customized to each college or university, can be accessed by both students and families, and includes local police, fire, ER, and urgent care personnel, as well as on-campus health center, psychological and other after-hours services hotlines.

The rise of school shootings is not only what concerns college families. According to the CDC, more than 20 percent of college-aged individuals – approximately 4 million young adults – end up in the emergency room each year, because of car accidents, medical illness, accidental injuries, alcohol poisonings and drug overdoses.

“Fear and anxiety are the new normal, prompting college families to take action,” added Schenbaum. “While by definition we can’t always prevent a crisis from happening, being prepared for any emergency gives parents peace of mind and empowers students to take control of their safety.”

Additional features of the app include the ability to upload and share a secure copy of the student’s health insurance card, along with a digital medical consent form which can allow the student’s trusted friends and family to receive confidential information. The app also provides built-in access to three of the most used national crisis hotlines—suicide, sexual assault and poison control.

Umergency is free for college students in the U.S. Parents, family members and other non-student users can subscribe for only $9.99/year or $19.99 for lifetime access.

About Umergency™
Umergency is an emergency, health and safety app designed for college students and their families. The local and on-campus information comes pre-populated and is specific to each student’s campus, while the user-entered data is unique to each student and allows them to decide what to share and with whom. An Urgent Alert beacon notifies trusted contacts when immediate help is needed, along with the student’s GPS location. Additional features include the ability to upload and share a secure copy of the student’s health insurance card, and a digital medical consent form which can allow the student’s trusted friends and family to speak with medical personnel. Learn more about the app by visiting http://www.umergencyapp.com or follow on Facebook @Umergency, Twitter @Umergency and Instagram @Umergency.

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George Medici
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