Last year's shooting at Virginia Tech awakened college campus security officials to the need for advanced emergency planning.
Now, the shooting at Northern Illinois University is another tragedy to learn from.
Ray Thrower is director of security at Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter and president of the International Association of College Law Enforcement Administrators. He said officials have learned to use multiple methods to reach as many students as possible during an emergency.
"With that emergency plan you need to have table-top exercises with your top administration which is usually your emergency response providers anyway and you need to have drills to be sure your plans really do work," said Thorwer.
Methods for communicating emergencies include email, text messages and cell phone calls.
Thrower said Northern Illinois officials appear to have properly implemented their emergency plan.