Emergency Alerts Revamped for Faculty and Staff

A snowy view of the Great Lawn toward looking toward the Wilbur Cross Building. (Peter Morenus/UConn File Photo)
UConn faculty and staff members now have an improved way to get weather-related and other urgent updates from the University. (Peter Morenus/UConn File Photo)

SHARELINES

With the arrival of winter – and the first weather-related disruption to University schedules happening this week – UConn faculty and staff members now have an improved way to get urgent updates from the University.

On the UConn Alert homepage – https://alert.uconn.edu – where campus status information is posted, and which houses any messages related to weather or other emergencies, a new link allows faculty and staff to choose how they want to receive communications.

Found on the main pages’ right-sidebar and under the “Resources” tab, the registration page allows faculty and staff members to choose multiple cell phone numbers and email addresses, along with a landline, as the preferred method of contact.

For the first time, too, the system can now accommodate phone numbers from outside the U.S., an important addition to a faculty and staff population as diverse as UConn’s.

The change comes as part of an overall revamping of UConn’s system of emergency communications, undertaken under the auspices of the Division of Public Safety with assistance from University Information Technology Services.

“The technology has advanced since the time when the University first started offering registration for text messages and emails,” says Christopher Renshaw, UConn fire captain and the fire department’s liaison to the Office of Emergency Management. “We wanted to make this as streamlined and user-friendly as possible, while providing people with options that weren’t available before.”

Signing up for alerts by text and email is the best way to learn of University decisions regarding weather and other urgent situations that could affect scheduling, along with visiting the UConn Alert page and checking the University’s Facebook and Twitter accounts.

Based on the success of the faculty and staff version, an updated student interface is planned for the start of the spring semester via the PeopleSoft platform.

Renshaw notes that the new registration system features of this platform are a boon to the University’s public safety communications effort. “It is a big improvement over what we’d been able to offer in the past,” he says.