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September 15, 2010

AlertUR system expanded

University graduate students, faculty, and staff now have access to the AlertUR notification system for immediate communications if emergencies occur. This second phase of AlertUR now covers 15,000 participants in addition to about 5,000 undergraduates at the University.

AlertUR has the flexibility to send critical messages by voice, text, and e-mail to supplement other emergency procedures used on all of the University’s campuses.

This expansion of AlertUR does not include the Medical Center, which has other emergency systems in place. Plans are being developed to enroll Medical Center faculty and staff in the coming months. In the meantime, any Medical Center faculty and staff member who wants to sign up for AlertUR, can go to, log in with a personal Net ID and password, and follow the simple directions.

The latest participants are automatically signed up with their University e-mail address. The important next step is to go online and add other numbers or e-mails that graduate students, faculty, and staff check just as—or even more—regularly.

“We need the communications mode you use and respond to most promptly in case there is an emergency,” says Mark Cavanaugh, the University’s chief safety officer, who directs the operation of AlertUR. In 2008, AlertUR was developed to contact undergraduates in Arts, Sciences and Engineering, the Eastman School, and the School of Nursing.

Walter Mauldin, director of University Security Services, described the addition of 15,000 participants as a major step forward in keeping the University community informed. “Because every emergency is different, we need a variety of methods to inform our students, employees, and visitors of potential danger and also to help them be mindful about their own safety,” Mauldin said.

Tests of the AlertUR system are scheduled once a semester and are promoted in advance. Please watch for reminders about the time and date of the October test.

More information about AlertUR can be found among the Frequently Asked Questions at Group presentations on aspects of the emergency notification system can be arranged by calling the University’s Office of Environmental Health and Safety at 275-3243.

The use of the AlertUR notification service is free to all participants, but users may be subject to their wireless providers’ service fees when messages are delivered.

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