April 19, 2007

VSU Campus Alert System To Enhance Emergency Preparedness

Valdosta State University recently initiated the VSU Campus Alert system through the Connect-ED communication service. The new system provides campus leaders and security professionals the ability to reach all students, faculty and staff with time-sensitive information during unforeseen events or emergencies, within minutes, through a single phone call.

VSU Campus Alert enables campus leaders to schedule, send, and track personalized voice messages, and can also send text messages to cell phones and email addresses. Students, faculty and staff must opt-in to have their contact information included for emergency notifications by entering their information at www.valdosta.edu/editalertinfo .

“When an emergency or pressing situation, such as a hurricane or health issue like potential pandemic flu, arises, one of the primary courses of action is to alert our student community immediately,” said Robert A. DeLong, VSU’s Director of Environmental and Occupational Safety. “With VSU Campus Alert we have a system where we will now be able to reach students, faculty and staff with accurate information without delay. We just need to collect the best contact information like cell phone numbers. ”

VSU officials say that with cell phone numbers included in the VSU Campus Alert system, when students are handling their day to day activities, they can rest assured that they will still be reached with important information, even if they are not on campus or tuned into the local news. Additional methods are also being explored to meet the communication needs of the campus during an emergency.

Officials say the contact information included in VSU Campus Alert will only be used for campus notifications and will not be made available to any other service.

“We will continue to respect the privacy of our students, faculty and staff and their contact information will not be shared with any other service,” said Joe Newton, VSU’s Director of Information Technology.

Newton said students, faculty and staff wanting to be contacted through the VSU Campus Alert service should submit their information at www.valdosta.edu/editalertinfo .