CU-Boulder to test campus text-messaging system on April 14

Published: April 11, 2011

As part of Severe Weather Awareness Week, the University of Colorado Boulder will distribute educational materials on flood safety and test Campus Alerts systems on Thursday, April 14.

Colorado Severe Weather Awareness Week, the annual campaign by the National Weather Service, the Colorado Division of Emergency Management and emergency managers throughout Colorado to promote severe spring weather safety, runs April 10-16.

"During the spring and summer the weather in Colorado can change suddenly. In the city of Boulder we are particularly at risk for thunderstorms and flash floods," said Vice Chancellor for Administration Frank Bruno. "The university is committed to working with the city and county to inform our community about how to prepare for emergencies."

At noon on Thursday, emergency management staff will send an alert by text-message and email to all individuals signed up through CU-Boulder's Campus Alerts, and post test alert messages on and the Emergency Information Line at 303-492-4636 (INFO).

In addition to distributing educational materials, volunteers with laptops will be available in the University Memorial Center on April 14 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. to help students, faculty and staff sign up for the Campus Alerts system. Campus community members with a, or email address can sign up to receive an alert by text message, email or both at

Throughout the spring the city of Boulder will distribute flood safety information in an effort to raise awareness that Boulder is the No. 1 flash flood risk community in Colorado due to its location at the mouth of Boulder Canyon, the number of people who live and work within the Boulder Creek floodplain, and the numerous other drainage basins running through the city.

In addition, a lack of vegetation and permeable soil in the Fourmile Canyon burn area creates an increased possibility of rain run-off and flooding from both Boulder Creek and Fourmile Canyon Creek if a severe storm occurs over this area. This increased flood potential could last anywhere from two to 10 years until the landscape starts to recover.

The Boulder Office of Emergency Management began testing the countywide emergency sirens on April 4. The siren tests will occur the first Monday of each month from April 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.

The CU-Boulder Campus Alerts system has over 26,000 subscribers including students, faculty and staff members. Over 68 percent of the campus community is currently enrolled. The campus conducts at least two tests of the text-messaging system each year.

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 Answers to frequently asked questions and support information also are available on the site.

For information about the text-messaging system go to the CU-Boulder website at 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