Since WVU Alert was introduced last October, more than 9,800 West Virginia University students, staff and faculty have signed up to receive the alert messages. But with over 830 students new to WVU this semester, University officials are reminding the entire campus community to register for this important notification system.
WVU Alert allows us to communicate vital safety information to our campus community quickly and efficiently,said WVU President Mike Garrison.But this method of communicating importantand possibly life-saving newsonly works if people take the time to register, which only takes a couple of minutes to do.
WVU Alert primarily uses text messages to alert the campus community to time-sensitive information from authorized campus officials, including weather-related closings and delays, crimes and emergencies, according to University Police Chief Bob Roberts. Besides the participant, the system also allows users to add one additional cell phone and email address.
To sign up for WVU Alert, faculty and staff should go tohttp://alert.wvu.edu; students can sign onto Mountaineer Information Xpress (MIX) and click on the emergency alert system icon. (NOTE: If off-campus, people will be asked to supply their MASTERID .)
The instructions are self-explanatory; however, users should have their mobile phones handy in order to verify the access code once confirmation comes through. Users who have a Blackberry will receive their validation code via the phones email.
It is important for individuals to verify the access code as soon as the confirmation is received,said Roberts.We currently have over 900 registered users who have yet to verify their account. These individuals will not receive WVU Alerts until their registration has been confirmed.
When the system was launched in the fall, individuals who registered for WVU Alert were automatically signed-up to receive the emergency alert. The system has been modified so that individuals are automatically signed-up to receive all three alert noticesemergency alert, crime alerts and weather-related closings and delays.
- Emergency Alert: Notifications regarding critical incidents that pose an imminent threat to the health or safety of the University on-campus community. Examples of such emergency incidents include, but are not limited to severe weather, hazardous materials incidents, and acts of criminal violence that broadly threaten the safety of the University community.
- Crime Alert: Utilized for major crimes which have occurred on or off-campus, requiring University Police response, and/or present an ongoing threat directly affecting the university community. These offenses include but are not limited to; Criminal Homicide, Sex Offenses, Robbery, Aggravated Assault, Burglary, Motor Vehicle Theft and Arson.
- Weather Alert: Utilized when weather conditions have, or will cause delays and additionally when such conditions have or will close the university or when a severe weather warning has been issued.
To date, the crime alert has been activated once and the weather alert has been used three times. The emergency alert will be tested at 3 p.m. on Wednesday, March 5. Individuals who have already registered for the alert but do not receive the test emergency alert should contact the Help Desk at (304) 293-4444 or firstname.lastname@example.org .
It is important for people who have yet to sign up for WVU Alert to do so prior to March 5. The emergency alert test will provide us with the opportunity to test the system and also give users the chance to confirm that they have successfully signed-up to receive the emergency alert,said Roberts.
He added,If an individual did not receive the prior crime or weather alerts it is possible that they either did not sign-up for those alerts or they did not validate their registration. We encourage those individuals who opted only to receive the emergency alert to sign-up for weather and crime alerts too.
The system is registered with every cell phone carrier in the country and takes only seconds to minutes to activate once the registration is complete. Accounts can also be customized so that alerts can be received via e-mail Mobile phone (via SMS text message), Blackberry, Wireless PDA , Text pager, School email&personal e-mail accounts, Personal portal (My Yahoo, iGoogle or My AOL page) or RSS reader. Depending on the persons personal cell phone carrier, there may be a minimal fee from the carrier to receive text messages, but there is no charge from WVU .
WVU Alert FAQs and definitions can be found athttp://alert.wvu.edu.
In an emergency, the WVU Alert will direct users tohttp://alert.wvu.edufor detailed information about the situation.