CU-Boulder prepares for flood season, will test campus text-messaging system on April 3

April 1, 2014

The University of Colorado Boulder will test the CU-Boulder Alerts system on Thursday, April 3, to raise awareness of how the campus community will be notified in case of an emergency. The test will include text messages, emails, social media and website announcements. Annual testing of emergency notification systems is required by the Clery Act, a federal law.

Flood season begins April 1 and it’s important that CU-Boulder students, faculty and staff know what to do in the event of flash flooding. The city of Boulder has just released its Spring 2014 Post-Flood Companion Guide, providing information on risks specific to post-flood conditions as well as the top eight personal preparedness tips to help residents get ready for the 2014 flood season.

Monthly flood siren tests will begin on Monday, April 7, and continue on the first Monday of the month through August. During an emergency, the sirens are used to alert residents to potential danger from a flood or other immediate threat. Siren tests ensure that all systems and procedures are working properly during the season of peak flood danger. The tests also promote public awareness of the warning sirens located throughout Boulder County.

If a flash flood warning is issued, heed all instructions and stay away from Boulder Creek and other areas where flooding is occurring. Climb to higher ground immediately and avoid drains, ditches, ravines and culverts. For more flood safety tips visit www.colorado.edu/floodsafety.

“The CU and Boulder communities know all too well how flood waters can quickly rise and cause damage,” said Stuart Pike, CU-Boulder emergency management director. “It’s critical that faculty, students and staff have their contact information up-to-date in order to receive timely information from the CU-Boulder Alerts system.”

Active CU-Boulder student email addresses (@colorado.edu) are automatically registered and the university encourages students to add mobile phone numbers in order to receive text notifications as well. Faculty, staff or affiliates of the CU-Boulder community with an @colorado.edu (or cufund.org or cu.edu) email address are encouraged to register on a voluntary basis.

Additional information on the CU-Boulder Alerts system is available at http://alerts.colorado.edu. For more details on how to sign up for alert systems in the city of Boulder and other local jurisdictions, see http://www.colorado.edu/emergencymanagement/resources.

If an emergency involves a threat to personal safety or a campus closure, a campus alert will be sent using one or all of the communication methods available. Text messaging is the backbone of the system as it reaches the most individuals in the least amount of time.

More than 90 percent of CU-Boulder students, faculty and staff who are signed up for the Campus Alerts system have at least one mobile device registered.

During an emergency that affects the campus, critical updates, additional details and any necessary instructions regarding the nature of the emergency will be posted at http://alerts.colorado.edu, campus social media sites and on the campus Emergency Information Line at 303-492-4636 (303-492-INFO). The university’s primary Twitter channels during emergencies are @CUBoulder, @CUBoulderPolice and @CUBoulderAlerts.

Details on the decision process for determining a closure, how administrative leave should be handled for essential personnel and other employees and answers to questions that frequently arise are covered in “Campus Closing Procedures During Emergencies” located at http://www.colorado.edu/policies/campus-closing-procedures-during-emergencies.

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 email help@colorado.edu.

Contact:
Ryan Huff, CU-Boulder media relations, 303-492-1042

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