Virginia Tech will conduct a campus-wide test of its emergency notification system on Wednesday, Oct. 8 between 10 and 10:30 a.m.

During this event, the university will simultaneously test several elements of its emergency notification system, including

  • The outdoor siren system;
  • The university's broadcast e-mail system, which sends a message to all student, faculty, and staff campus e-mail addresses (e-mails that end with @vt.edu);
  • The emergency notification version of the university homepage;
  • VT Alerts, which can send SMS (text) messages to mobile devises; calls to home, office, or mobile phone numbers; and e-mails to non-Virginia Tech addresses; and
  • The new electronic message boards in all general assignment classrooms.

Please note: Instant messages are no longer available as a VT Alerts messaging option.

In past years, the university has successfully tested individual elements of its emergency notification system; this test will deploy several elements simultaneously to more accurately simulate how the university community would receive important information during an actual event.

Following, the test, all students, faculty, and staff will be asked to respond to a survey in order to help the university assess the test and better understand how the community received the test information. Participation in the survey is strongly encouraged in order provide the university with comprehensive feedback.

VT Alerts messages will appear from

  • 89361 for text messages;
  • (540) 232-1000 for phone calls; and
  • alerts@vt.edu for non-university e-mail accounts.


The subject line for the test message will be "TEST: Virginia Tech Emergency Notification System." The message will begin with "This is a test of the Virginia Tech Emergency Notification System"

At the end of the message, recipients will be prompted to confirm receipt. For the purposes of this test, it is extremely important for recipients to provide the requested confirmation, as that is the only way the university will know if messages have been received.

Please note: Those who receive alerts via non-university e-mail will be provided a link to confirm receipt. When one clicks on the link, the user will be taken to a page hosted by 3n (National Notification Network).

Also note: VT Alerts is intended to communicate urgent information to students, faculty, and staff on campus during an emergency. For that reason, it is very important that one carefully considers one's points of contact. If a user has included parents, spouses, or others among your points of contact, the university strongly suggests listing one's self as the first point of contact. To review your account, visit the VT Alerts website and click on the "Manage Your Account" link.

If you registered anyone other than yourself to receive these alert notifications via phone, text message, or non-university e-mail, please inform them of the upcoming test.

If you do not receive the alert message during the test, please go to the VT Alerts website and click on the "Manage Your Account" link to verify that the entered information is correct. If the information is correct, or if you encounter any other issues, please contact 4Help at (540) 231-HELP (231-4357).

For more general information about VT Alerts, visit the Frequently Asked Questions page.