Ball State community encouraged to enroll in new emergency text message service

Topic: Administrative

August 30, 2007

Ball State has launched its emergency text message system and is encouraging everyone in the university community to sign up.

The opt-in message service enables students, faculty and staff to receive emergency bulletins from the university via their cell phones. To subscribe to the service, go to www.bsu.edu/emergencyalert.

Already in development last spring, improvements to the university's emergency notification system and procedures were accelerated in the wake of last April's tragic mass shooting at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.

Ball State's emergency alert system will be used during imminent when speed is paramount to ensure public safety. Or, in the case of a tornado warning, when people may be indoors and unable to hear the outside sirens.

The alert system also will be used as one way to communicate to the campus about critical information such as weather cancellations or widespread power outages. Additional avenues the university uses to disseminate developing news includes emergency warning systems, the Ball State Web site, on-campus e-mail and voice mail, and local radio and TV stations.

"Our philosophy is that no single approach can be relied upon to reach everyone," said Kay Bales, vice president for student affairs and dean of students. "So, we're utilizing an array of communications channels and messaging technology to get the word out in the case of a campus emergency."

Activated and managed by the university's crisis management team (CMT), the system holds the greatest potential for rapidly getting word of a crisis situation to the largest number of people in the least amount of time, added Bales, a CMT member.

For more information about the emergency service, contact Nancy Prater at 765-285-3220 or nprater@bsu.edu.

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