October 29, 2007
University to collect emergency alert information
By kim urquhart
In November, Emory will be able to relay critical information to students in times of crisis by sending emergency alerts via text message to their mobile phone. In order to implement this powerful technology, the University is requesting that students provide a cell phone number and wireless carrier for inclusion in a secure database from which the upgraded emergency notification system, installed this fall, can retrieve the information essential for prompt a delivery.
To facilitate the collection of this data, after Nov. 1, the Online Pathway to University Services (OPUS) system will direct students to a Web page for collection of this and other essential information when they log in.
Emory strongly encourages participation in the emergency alert and notification program to improve awareness in the event of a major emergency, but will provide the opportunity for individuals to opt-out of the program by selecting the corresponding prompt on the information collection page. “The goal is to create an enrollment process that is convenient, facilitates the greatest participation, and is also respectful of individuals’ desire for privacy,” said Alexander Isakov, executive director of Emory’s Office of Critical Event Preparedness and Response. Faculty and staff will have a similar opportunity to provide their emergency alert information, beginning the week of Nov. 19, in the self-service section of the Human Resource PeopleSoft System.
According to Bob Nadolski, senior administrator of CEPAR, collecting mobile phone data will provide the University another critical tool for alerting and providing information to the Emory community.
Emergency messages can be sent by the Emory Office of Communications, the President’s Cabinet, CEPAR, Emory Police, and the Emory Call Center based on defined protocol.