MTSU has launched a new emergency-alert testing process for the university community to ensure that students, faculty and staff are staying safe by receiving urgent communications properly each semester.
MTSU’s Critical Notification System, provided by Rave Mobile Safety, sent a test message Feb. 25 at 1:15 p.m. to the university’s 26,300-plus registered users via email, text and automated phone calls.
The university’s website, www.mtsu.edu, its MTSUNews.com news site, and all electronic signage around the Murfreesboro campus displayed the message just as they do during an actual emergency alert, along with university social media.
University officials said initial reports indicated a near-100 percent success rate with the transmissions. Digital signage in the James E. Walker Library, Student Recreation Center, College of Education Building, Keathley University Center and the new Science Building showed the message within 30 seconds of its transmission.
“When they’re set up properly, the messages will also be broadcast across our Simplex PA system in campus buildings,” said MTSU Police Lt. Broede Stucky, who handles emergency operations for the university police department.
Stucky has been working closely with University Police Chief Buddy Peaster and other MTSU staff members to organize the Critical Notification System testing schedule.
“During the test time, we will be evaluating all of the systems to make sure that they in fact are working properly in the event of an actual emergency,” Stucky added. “The Critical Notification System is one of several components that our university uses to enhance the overall safety and emergency preparedness of the MTSU community.”
This spring’s inaugural campuswide system test will be followed by a summer-semester test on Wednesday, June 24, and a fall test set for Wednesday, Oct. 28. Each test will be conducted at 1:15 p.m.
Subsequent years’ system tests will be held on the last Wednesday of February, June and October at the same time of day, officials said.
The university already conducts routine monthly tests of its tornado sirens on campus and at the Miller Coliseum Complex to ensure proper operations. Those tests don’t involve other components of the Critical Notification System, however.
All current MTSU students, faculty and staff automatically receive email alerts at their MTSU addresses from Rave about weather-related emergencies, delays and cancellations. Users also can choose to receive text and/or voice alerts by adding phone numbers to their personal Rave accounts, which are accessed with their PipelineMT usernames and passwords.
During MTSU’s recent inclement-weather closings, campus users again were encouraged to ensure proper receipt of future alerts by checking and updating their contact information at www.getrave.com/login/mtsu.
Non-MTSU students or personnel don’t have access to the system. Users are automatically deleted from the system when their status with the university changes, such as by graduating or leaving school or full-time employment permanently.
You can learn more about MTSU’s Critical Notification System at its FAQ page. Information about the alert system is also always available on the university’s weather information page, www.mtsunews.com/weather.
— Gina E. Fann (firstname.lastname@example.org)