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UC to test improvements to emergency notification systems

Several University of Cincinnati Departments are working collaboratively to enhance the emergency notification system used on UC Campuses. Read more to learn about how Alertus Technologies will help to improve campus safety.

This image shows what an emergency desktop notification will look like.

The University of Cincinnati Public Safety Department is introducing a new component to emergency notifications, using a platform called Alertus to reach our campus community using additional methods.

Currently, the department, utilizing Rave Alert, sends a text message, email and Bearcat Guardian notification in the event of an emergency, in addition to using Twitter and digital signage. Beginning in January, the Rave Alert system will be integrated with the Alertus Mass Notification System, which will allow Public Safety to share emergency notifications on university desktop computers, college cable television, stadium scoreboards and Alertus Alert Beacons, and to make increased use of campus digital signage.

This image shows what an Alertus beacon emergency notification will look like.

With the exception of the alert beacons, the aforementioned devices are in place and being used for day-to-day operations throughout the university. Alert Beacons are wall-mounted, and in the event of an emergency will be activated to ‘flash’ and ‘sound’ to capture the attention of building occupants and will display a custom message about the nature of the emergency and other relevant information. 

A test of the Rave and Alertus systems will be conducted on Dec. 4 at noon to coincide with the monthly test of the outdoor warning system and the Simplex fire alarm speaker system. Text message, emails, Bearcat Guardian notifications, computer desktop notifications, digital signage, college cable television and Alertus beacons will be tested. If you receive a desktop notification, simply click “Acknowledge” to clear the notification.

This image shows what an emergency notification on digital signage will look like.

If you experience issues with computer desktop notifications, please contact your department Information Technology Manager. For additional project information or clarifications, please contact Ed Dadosky, Director of Emergency Management and Business Continuity Planning, at edward.dadosky@uc.edu.

In order to receive Rave Alerts through text message and email, students, faculty and staff must ensure their information is entered into Catalyst, if a student, or the UC Directory, if a faculty or staff member. In Catalyst, under Personal Information, students should click “Add a Phone Number” and choose “Emergency Text” from the drop-down menu. In the UC Directory, faculty and staff must add a cell phone, and must choose “Yes” when asked if they would like to receive emergency text messages.

This image shows what a college cable TV emergency notification would look like.

Beginning in January, the Rave/Alertus system will be operational and will be tested during the first week of classes each semester, including summer semester. Tests will include all RAVE/ALERTUS system components.

This project is a result of the efforts of several university departments, including Public Safety, IT@UC, Campus Services, Athletics, Planning + Design + Construction and Facilities Management. In addition, the project was reviewed several times by the University Emergency Management Advisory Committee (EMAC), which is comprised of approximately 60 members representing faculty and staff at UC. Finally, various university information technology committees and departments continue to receive project updates to ensure a seamless university-wide alert system integration.