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Emergency Notifcation System

Frequently Asked Questions
About the SF State Emergency Notification System

Q: What is the Emergency Notification System?

The San Francisco State Emergency Notification System is a communications tool designed to rapidly disseminate emergency information and instructions, in the event of an emergency that threatens the lives and/or property of the campus community.  This fully hosted, web-based system can disperse messages to phones, voicemail, e-mails, and via text messaging and TTY. 

Notification systems have become part and parcel of emergency preparedness strategies on college campuses across the country, in the wake of tragic campus shooting incidents at Virginia Tech and Northern Illinois University.  While this notification system is an important part of the emergency preparedness plan for SF State, we encourage all students, faculty and staff members to actively participate in preparedness training and information available through the Office of Emergency Preparedness and the University Police Department. Please contact Abe Leal in the Office of Emergency Preparedness at ( to learn more.

Q: Why have alert systems when we already have alarms in campus buildings?

While alarms are an effective way to evacuate a building, other types of emergencies, such as an active shooter incident, may require people to shelter-in-place.  Currently the best way to notify the campus in this type of situation is through a mass notification system.

Q: Why should I enter all of my contact information?

Multiple contacts help to ensure that you receive emergency information as quickly as possible wherever you may be.  While phone calls are the most immediate way to reach people, a text message for example, may be the best way to reach students and faculty during classes.  You may also be notified of a campus closure or cancellation of classes in the event of an emergency that impacts the campus over the weekend or at night.

Students who wish to add or update their contact information please go to:, select "Profile" in the upper right and in the "Student Profile" section click on "Update Contact Information."

Faculty and staff members should log into the and select "Profile" in the upper right. Then in the "Emergency Contact Information" section, select "View/Update Emergency Contact Information in HR."

Q: How often are these “tests” going to happen?

The “All Campus” test will be conducted once each semester, to ensure that new students, faculty and staff will have the opportunity to become familiar with the process and fully participate. An e-mail notice will be sent several days in advance of each test, to allow people to update their contact information and to avoid any undue alarm.


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