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Sign Up For UNH Alert to Receive Emergency Information Via Text

By Jody Record, Campus Journal Editor
January 19, 2011

Those members of the UNH community who have signed up for the university’s alert messaging system got to sleep in during the first major snowstorm of the season last week rather than get up early to check the school closings. That’s because they received a text message the night before letting them know UNH would be closed.

The same thing happened yesterday when it was announced operations would curtail at 1 p.m.; text messages were sent to e-mail accounts, cell phones and Blackberrys via UNH Alert, an information and warning system administrated by the UNH Police Department. In addition to details on closings and curtailments, the real-time messaging system provides instructions on where to go, what to do, and who to contact in the event of a crisis.

UNH Alert is provided free by the university although wireless carriers may charge a fee to receive messages. It takes only a few minutes to sign up. All you have to do is provide an e-mail address, where you want the messages sent (cell phone, pager, etc.) and a password. (Registering indicates you agree with the terms of service.)

The system is made possible through Roam Secure, a Virginia-based company specializing in emergency communication and information sharing. More than 18,000 messages per minute can be sent to cell phones, e-mail accounts or PDAs.

A siren warning system is another component of UNH’s safety plan (see story above). Student Alert uses a siren to alert people of a crisis on campus. The siren is followed by voice instructions broadcast on outdoor loudspeakers. Used by colleges and universities around the world, the system was donated to UNH by alumnus John Olson, president and CEO of Whelen Engineering Company.

If an emergency occurs, university police will use Roam Secure to send a text message to all subscribers. Updates of the situation will be posted on the UNH Web site. A second text message will be sent when the crisis is resolved.

To register for UNH Alert, visit https://alert.unh.edu.


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