ND Alert retest planned for Feb. 1

Author: Gail Hinchion Mancini


ND Alert, the University ofNotre Dames comprehensive emergency notification system, will be retested Friday afternoon (Feb. 1). During the process, many students, faculty and staff will receive text-message alerts to their cell phones for the first time.

An ND Alert test in November revealed that some e-mail messages took more than two hours to arrive. Modifications have been made to local e-mail delivery systems, and the upcoming test will verify the effectiveness of these changes.

Safety is of paramount importance, and we believe that time is of the essence in the face of the kinds of emergencies this system will address,said Gordon Wishon, associate provost, chief information officer and associate vice president of information technologies.

New in this round of testing, every registered cell phone user that has not opted out of the text messaging service will receive a text alert. In the past, the opposite was true: texts were sent only to those who had opted in during the fall semester. A change recently instituted by the emergency system vendor, Connect-ED, now includes all cell phone numbers except those that have been opted out. Some employees, particularly those who must pay a per-message fee for texts, may want to opt out of this feature. This may be done by following the instructions at http://oit.nd.edu/emergency/sms.shtml .

As with the first test, the mass notification system will distribute messages to student, faculty and employee home and office telephones, registered cell phones, University e-mail accounts and any additional personal e-mail accounts previously provided.The Universitys cable system also will broadcast a test message to any live television in residence hall rooms, common areas such as the LaFortune Student Center and offices. All messages will clearly indicate that a test is under way.

Faculty and staff who have not registered emergency contact information such as personal cell phone numbers or non-University e-mail addresses are encouraged to do so. Registration is available through the My Resources tab of InsideND at inside.nd.edu.

TopicID: 26167