CU-Boulder to Test Campus Text-Messaging System on April 2

March 30, 2010 •

The University of Colorado at Boulder will test the Campus Alerts text-messaging system on April 2 at noon in advance of annual flood siren testing, which begins Monday, April 5.

The Campus Alerts system had 23,046 subscribers as of March 28 including students, faculty and staff members. Over 60 percent of the campus community is currently enrolled. The campus conducts at least two tests of the text-messaging system each year. The system was last used on March 24 to notify the campus of a delayed opening due to snow.

Students, faculty and staff can sign up to receive an alert by a text message, e-mail, or both. Campus community members with a colorado.edu, cu.edu, or cufund.org e-mail address can sign up for the system at www.colorado.edu/alerts.

"Springtime can bring emergencies ranging from big snowstorms, as we saw last week, to floods," said CU-Boulder Chancellor Philip P. DiStefano. "Over 23,000 members of our community have taken the time to sign up for the Campus Alerts system so that they can receive an emergency text. This is a solid base that has grown each year, but we would like to see even higher levels of participation."

Volunteers with laptops will be available in the University Memorial Center on April 2 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. to help students, faculty and staff sign up for the system.

After they receive the test message, users are encouraged to add Campus Alerts to their phone contacts so that in the case of an emergency the alert will display as received from the university. Users who have changed phone numbers or switched carriers since signing up should log in to the system to update their contact information. They can log in by going to www.colorado.edu/alerts. Answers to frequently asked questions and support information also are available on the site.

The CU-Boulder campus and the city of Boulder's Office of Emergency Management test the emergency outdoor warning sirens annually to ensure the sirens work properly, to improve public understanding about the use of the sirens, and to inform citizens about how to respond when the outdoor warning sirens are activated. Beginning April 5, the sirens will be tested at 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. on the first Monday of every month through August.

Also starting in April, the city will distribute a flood safety brochure in order to raise awareness that the city of Boulder is the No. 1 flash flood risk in the state of Colorado. Boulder's peak flood season is April 1 through Sept. 30 due to melting snowpack and seasonal thunderstorms. Flood Action Plans and other flood information resources are available at www.boulderfloodinfo.net.

For information about the text-messaging system go to the CU-Boulder Web site at www.colorado.edu/alerts. Any user who expected to receive an alert and didn't, or who needs help signing up for the system, should call the IT Service Center at 303-735-HELP or e-mail help@colorado.edu.

For more information about the Boulder flood warning system contact Mike Chard of the Boulder Office of Emergency Management at 303-441-3390.

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