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ASU Alert and Advisory emergency messaging enhanced with new options


December 04, 2012

Arizona State University has enlisted the services of Blackboard Connect, a leading mass notification platform, to facilitate emergency messaging and important communications to the university community. A campus-wide test of the new system will be held in January.

Blackboard Connect will be used to send ASU Alert and Advisory messages. ASU Alert messages are issued during emergencies that pose an immediate threat to the safety of the university community or that greatly affect university operations. ASU Advisory messages are delivered during incidents that may not be life-threatening but typically affect academic and/or business operations for a significant area of a campus.

Current ASU students, faculty and staff will be automatically enrolled in the system. In addition, the university community will be able to confirm and update information for ASU Alert and Advisory through an online prompt that will appear Dec. 21 on My ASU, a secure university web portal where students, faculty and staff frequently access information. Users can then verify user information, customize options for receiving messages, add additional telephone numbers and email addresses or opt-out of the system.

ASU’s Alert and Advisory systems allow the university to provide and update critical information in an efficient and timely manner through text messages, emails, social media and RSS.

“The safety of those on our campuses is our top priority, which is why we need to be able to communicate with students, faculty and staff, and other affiliates quickly in an urgent situation,” said Allen Clark, Arizona State University director of Emergency Preparedness. “We are updating our emergency messaging system so the ASU community receives important messages when it matters most. We look forward to adding additional services that will enable the system to serve the community more efficiently and have the broadest reach possible.”

Using ASU Alert and ASU Advisory, administrators can send an unlimited number of messages to mobile phones in minutes. Blackboard Connect allows students, faculty and staff more control over the messages that they receive. For instance, students based at the Polytechnic campus can choose to not receive messages for the West campus. Messages will initially be delivered through texts, email, social media and RSS. New features will be added as the system is tested and additional services are implemented.

Because text messaging charges may apply based on individual provider plans, members of the ASU community may choose to opt-out of receiving emergency text messages. However, all students, faculty and staff at ASU will continue to receive ASU Alert emergency emails. Additional information about ASU Alerts and Advisories may be found at alerts.asu.edu.