The UM Emergency Alert software that assists in sending text, voice and email messages during campus emergencies will change in February to a new vendor for all three campuses, including the Health System.

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Message delivery times with the new software are expected to be shorter, and future service enhancements are anticipated, said Andy Burchfield, U-M’s director of emergency management.

As part of the software transition, members of the Ann Arbor, Dearborn and Flint campuses will see the following changes:

• Text message recipients will receive a “welcome” text message Thursday.  In compliance with a federal requirement, the welcome message will offer the recipient the option of responding “STOP” to unsubscribe from future text messages. Recipients should not respond if they want to continue receiving emergency text messages.

• The Caller IDs for UM Emergency Alert phone messages will be revised:

  • Ann Arbor — 734-998-9911, UMICH E ALERT.
  • Dearborn  — 313-593-1911, UM-DEARBORN 911.
  • Flint — 810-237-1911, UM-FLINT ALERT.

• Text message IDs will be either 23177 or 63079.

“We are excited about the opportunities to enhance performance of the UM Emergency Alert system,” Burchfield said.  “Once we transition to the new software, we will begin planning for service enhancements that should occur in mid-2014.  For instance, we’ll explore allowing campus members to register additional devices and leverage smart phone apps.”

A systemwide test of the new system is scheduled on all three campuses for Friday.  If actual emergencies are occurring at the scheduled time, the test will be postponed to the following week.

The UM Emergency Alert system is intended to be activated when university police determine that an imminent threat is occurring for which campus community members should take immediate action for their safety. These incidents could include when a person actively shooting a weapon is on the loose, a tornado warning has been issued by the National Weather Service for the county, or a major hazardous material spill is impacting a large portion of campus. Localized incidents within a building (such as a small fire or hazardous material spill in a lab) likely won’t require a mass notification.  

“All active students, faculty and staff will receive an email message when the system is activated,” Burchfield said. “To receive messages even faster, everyone also should register a device to receive a text and/or phone message. When the system is activated in Ann Arbor, it also will trigger messages to the U-M gateway website, U-M and UMPD twitter feeds (@umich and @umichpolice), as well as many digital interior building signs. Messages sent at Dearborn and Flint also will utilize additional delivery methods.”