SF State News {University Communications}

Image: Photos of SF State students and scenes from around campus

Campus alert system launched

May 29, 2008 -- SF State now has a new tool to notify the campus community in the event of an emergency. The SF State Emergency Preparedness Program sent test notifications -- phone calls, text messages and e-mails -- May 13 to gauge how quickly and accurately the system could reach students, faculty and staff.

Nearly 36,000 calls reached a live person or voice mail, and 80 percent of those were made within the first 15 minutes. More than 62,000 e-mails and more than 6,500 text messages were sent.

Screen shot of the SF State Emergency Notification System Survey.

Screen shot of the SF State Emergency Notification System Survey.

The phone and e-mail alert system will be used in the event of such emergencies as an earthquake, fire or active shooter. It would augment, but not replace, such existing notification methods as building intercom systems, bullhorns, Web site messages and media alerts.

Gayle Orr-Smith, emergency preparedness coordinator, said the notification system is only one of many planned tools to ensure emergency preparedness, including an internal building auditory alert system. Orr-Smith also said the campus community cannot ignore person-to-person notification in the event of an emergency. "Our building coordinators in every building play a role in making sure people get the message and respond to it appropriately," she said.

More than 1,000 people completed an online survey about the effectiveness of the test, which can be found on the Emergency Notification System Survey Web site.

Comments from users ranged from grateful to unsure of the purpose. Answers to queries and frequently asked questions are posted at www.sfsu.edu/~upd/emergency/

From that site, members of the campus community can follow links to ensure SF State has their correct contact information in the event of an emergency.

  • Students - visit MySFSU and select "Contact Information"
  • Faculty/Staff - log into https://inside.sfsu.edu/portal and select the "Emergency Contacts" tab

The campus community is encouraged to provide multiple contacts to ensure effective notification in the case of an emergency. All-campus test notifications will be conducted once each semester.

-- Student Writer Lisa Rau with Ellen Griffin


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