UAB is switching to B-ALERT - a new, technologically advanced emergency notification system - effective Thursday Feb. 3.
B-ALERT will give the UAB Emergency Management Team the option 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 will integrate 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.
What do I need to know/ do Thursday Feb. 3?
The most important thing is to be aware that the messages you will receive that day are tests of the new system, unless clearly labeled otherwise. Second, make sure you are registered in the system with correct, up-to-date information.
All registration for the system will be connected to your BlazerID. The registration form will be found at www.uab.edu/BALERT once the system goes live. You always will be able to find a link to the registration form on the emergency information website.
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 where you would like to receive notifications, register those separately in the system Feb. 3.
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. When the system goes live Feb. 3, and 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 at the link above. Responding to the message will not complete the opting out process.
Register your cell, office and home phone numbers in order to receive voice messages at all numbers during a crisis situation.
More details about what will happen Feb. 3
If you already are registered with the existing UAB emergency notification system (eNotify), at some point during business hours you will receive a confirmation text message notifying you that you now are automatically registered for B-ALERT. Text messages from the system will come to your cell phone or other handheld device from something called a short code; it will be either 23177 or 63079. Later that day, UAB will send a full B-ALERT test message to all text, voice and e-mail addresses and numbers in the system. Voice calls will 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.
Remember that during an emergency situation, UAB also will communicate as needed:
- Posting information on the main emergency information website: 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.