February 04, 2011

B-ALERT: New emergency notice system now in place

UAB switched to B-ALERT — a new, technologically advanced emergency notification system — effective Thursday Feb. 3.

B-ALERT enables the UAB Emergency Management Team to generate simultaneous voice calls, SMS text messages and e-mails to the entire campus during an emergency or severe weather situation that requires immediate communication. B-ALERT also is integrated with Facebook and Twitter.

More information is online at www.uab.edu/emergency, UAB’s primary website for emergency information.

Why the switch?

UAB’s primary concern during any emergency or severe weather situation is the safety of its students, faculty, staff and visitors. In keeping with that philosophy, the university wanted to take advantage of advances in technology.

Registration

All registration for the system is connected to your BlazerID. The registration form is online at www.uab.edu/BALERT. You always will be able to find a link to the registration form on the emergency information website. Make sure you are registered in the system with correct, up-to-date information.

E-mail

B-ALERT e-mails will come from the new UAB Emergency Management Team address: UABALERT@uab.edu.

All BlazerID-connected UAB e-mail addresses automatically are included in the new system; you will not be able to opt out of receiving these e-mails. If there are other e-mail accounts at which you would like to receive notifications, register those separately in the system.

Text

Register at least one SMS-capable mobile device with the B-ALERT system. Why? Because message delivery in an emergency is usually quicker via this kind of messaging. Any time you register a new SMS text device, you will receive a message allowing you to opt out of the service. Should you choose to opt out, which is not recommended, update your preferences through the registration form. Responding to the message will not complete the opting out process.

Telephone

Register your cell, office and home phone numbers in order to receive voice messages at all numbers during a crisis situation.

Social media

Follow B-ALERT on Facebook at www.facebook.com/UABALERT and on Twitter under the name UABALERT: www.twitter.com/UABALERT.

More details

If you already are registered with the existing UAB emergency notification system (eNotify), you received a confirmation text message during business hours Feb. 3 notifying you that you now are automatically registered for B-ALERT. Text messages from the system come to your cell phone or other handheld device from something called a short code; it is either 23177 or 63079. UAB also sent a full B-ALERT test message to all text, voice and e-mail addresses and numbers in the system. Voice calls originate from B-ALERT at 205-975-8000. Store these numbers/codes and program them all as B-ALERT so you will recognize them as the official source of UAB emergency and/or severe weather information.

General information

Remember that during an emergency situation, UAB also will communicate as needed by:

• Posting information on the main emergency information website at www.uab.edu/emergency

• Updating the UAB Severe Weather & Emergency Hotline at 205-934-2165

• Direct, live communication from UAB Police officers at the scene of an emergency

• Sharing information with local media for broadcast and publication

Anyone who believes activity is suspicious or threatening should immediately call 911 from any campus or cell phone.

One more reminder

For more information on UAB’s policies and procedures during any emergency or severe weather situation, visit the UAB Emergency Information Web page at www.uab.edu/emergency. The page also contains links to internal and external emergency support and information resources.

Take Note