Real Life 101: Good News Rarely Comes in the Middle of the Night…

After a harrowing and all-too-common experience with her daughter's emergency situation while away at college, Umergency's co-founder decided enough was enough. She assembled a team and together they began developing the ultimate all-in-one emergency, health and safety solution for college families. Finally, after years of development, testing and invaluable input from families and universities across the country, Umergency is ready for you and your student!

Gail & her daughter, Alex, at graduation

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Your College Checklist
August 27, 2017

It’s hard to believe that the new school year is upon us. Soon your student will be settled into their new surroundings and acclimated to college life. Everything is under control…until the unexpected occurs.

Whether you’re a student or a parent, most people — from both generations — don’t think about being prepared until it’s too late. That phone call during the night that everyone dreads. It’s estimated that every year 1 out of 4 college-age students will end up in the ER. That’s staggering and scary.

“When my daughter Alex called… it was the middle of the night… and all I heard her say was: ‘Mom, it’s really bad.’ My heart sank. Then the EMT got on the line and said ‘We’re pulling into the ER with a partial amputation. We’ll call you back.’ CLICK. My heart sank. I felt so helpless.” — Gail Schenbaum, Umergency Co-founder.

With her daughter in a new city, at a college far from home, Gail didn’t have the necessary information at her fingertips to deal with the emergency. What ER was she headed to? Who could she speak with? How could she get in touch with Alex’s RA or roommate? Not knowing where to turn for the fastest answers on her daughter’s condition left Gail desperate for information.

From that harrowing experience, Gail and her brother Barry created Umergency: The all-in-one emergency, health and safety app for college families.

Umergency connects students and their parents when they need it most — providing the most important resources and information to navigate through any emergency. Securely linked contacts, pre-populated on & off campus health/ safety resources, pre-signed consent form, urgent alert beacon with GPS location, and insurance card are right there at your fingertips.

Umergency Keeps You Prepared - Anytime - Anywhere.

Download Umergency for iOS and Android today!


This holiday season, who really needs another scarf, candle or tie?

Parents are hotwired to do things for their sons and daughters that make their lives easier. But at this phase of their development, it’s more effective to empower these young adults by giving them the tools to help them take better care of themselves and make their own important decisions.

Since the holidays are usually a time when students are back home with their families, it may be the perfect time for parents to have a conversation with them about campus safety and preparedness.

Below are five simple tips for parents on how to talk with their college children this holiday:

  1. Set a time. Pick a specific date, time and location, helping to ensure the conversation takes place and creating an atmosphere of seriousness.
  2. Do your research. Learn more about campus security at your child’s college, or download the Umergency app, which offers critical resources for 1,200 colleges and universities.
  3. Explain the need for safety readiness. While many 18- to 22-year-olds feel invincible, discuss why being prepared is important.
  4. Have an adult conversation. Avoid excessive advice and lecturing. Listen carefully to your child and acknowledge any concerns or reservations.
  5. Explore technology. While some parents may be more tech savvy than others, discover new safety technologies that may be suitable for both you and your child, such as the Umergency app.

It’s not about scaring children or giving them a list of worst-case scenarios, although more than one in five college students visit the ER every year due to alcohol poisoning, car crashes, medical illness, accidental injuries, and drug overdoses, among other reasons. Rather, it’s about both of you having the necessary resources at hand when and if an emergency occurs.

Parents should speak honestly with their children about what they want for them in the year ahead – to be empowered, confident and prepared, while getting a little peace of mind for themselves.