University to retest VT Alerts Wednesday, Oct. 2
September 30, 2013
Virginia Tech will conduct a retest of its VT Alerts system on Wednesday, Oct. 2, on the Blacksburg campus as well as university facilities located in six regions across Virginia.
It will occur between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. The outdoor sirens in Blacksburg will not be used on this test.
The VT Alerts test is being held a second time to ensure that a technical problem with the database of VT Phone Alerts subscribers has been resolved.
In the event of an actual emergency, individuals must be aware of their surroundings and take immediate responsibility for their personal safety and security. Initial VT Alerts messages will provide basic information on what to do; further instructions and updates will be provided by subsequent VT Alerts messages or first responders. In-depth information, when available, will be posted to the university homepage.
The university will use multiple information delivery methods to reach students, faculty, and staff because, at any given time, one form of communication might be better than another.
VT Alerts will be utilized for the Blacksburg campus only in those instances when severe weather impacts class schedules and the opening or closing of the university.
The university will test the following VT Alerts channels on Oct 2:
- The Virginia Tech homepage
- Broadcast email to all vt.edu accounts
- @vtalerts Twitter account
- Electronic message boards in classrooms
- VT Phone Alerts
- VT Desktop Alerts
- Note: The outdoor sirens in Blacksburg will not be used.
VT Desktop Alerts sends a notice to your desktop or laptop computer, wherever you are as long as you are connected to the Internet. Users do not need to be on the campus to download the application or to receive the alert. However, to activate this service, the VT Desktop Alerts application must be downloaded to your computer.
VT Phone Alerts subscribers may receive text messages, phone calls to designated numbers, and/or email messages to non university e-mail accounts. VT Phone Alerts users will be able to identify the text message in the following way:
- The subject line for the test message will be “TEST: VT Alerts.”
- The phone and voice mail messages will begin with “This is a test of the VT Alerts System.”
The message sender will appear as follows:
- SMS (text) messages are from 89361 and start with “S: VT Alerts” (followed by the test message).
- Phone messages are from (540) 232-1000 and begin with “The following is an emergency message from Virginia Tech.” followed by a text-to-speech rendering of the message).
- Email messages are from VT Alerts (firstname.lastname@example.org).
At the end of the message, you will be prompted to confirm receipt. For the purposes of this test, it is important for you to provide the requested confirmation, as that will be the only way the university will know if you received the message. Those who receive alerts via email will be provided a link to confirm receipt. When you click on the link, you’ll be taken to a page hosted by Everbridge, the vendor who provides the VT Phone Alerts system.
Because VT Phone Alerts is intended to communicate urgent information to students, faculty, and staff on campus during an emergency, it is important that each subscriber carefully consider his points of contact. If a user includes parents, spouses, or others among your points of contact, it is suggested that you list yourself 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 e-mail, please inform him of the upcoming test.
Individuals who do not have a Virginia Tech PID, but have a valid need to receive VT Phone Alerts emergency notification messages because of their relationship or proximity to the Blacksburg campus, may request a subscription through the Office of Emergency Management. Learn more about this process on the VT Alerts website.
If you do not receive a VT Phone Alerts message during the test, and you are subscribed to this service, please visit the VT Alerts website and click on the “Manage Your Account” link to verify that your record is correct. If the information is correct, but you did not receive the message, you’re urged to contact 4Help at 540-231-HELP (4357).