MSUToday
Published: April 7, 2016

MSU announces new system to alert campus community

Contact(s): Jason Cody Media Communications office: (517) 432-0924 cell: (734) 755-0210 Jason.Cody@cabs.msu.edu

Michigan State University is launching a new system to provide emergency alerts to the campus community.

The MSU Police Department, in conjunction with MSU Information Technology Services, will be providing an additional method of receiving emergency notifications using desktop alerting software called Alertus. The software is available free of charge for MSU community members and their friends to download.

Computers with the software installed will receive notifications anytime MSU launches an emergency message to the system using a common alerting protocol (CAP) integration. The new system is part of MSU efforts to expand the ability to reach persons in their offices, research facilities and at home. The software also is expected to be deployed to MSU computer labs and classrooms over the summer semester.

By moving beyond simple email, phone, SMS texts, public address announcements and social media, MSU is able to more fully alert and warn the campus community of situations.

The software may be downloaded from alert.msu.edu and installed on a Mac or Windows computer system following the instructions provided. Once the software is installed and activated, persons will receive a “pop-up” style message when the MSU Police launches an emergency message to the system.

On April 13, 2016, at 1:30 p.m., MSU will test the new alert system and some existing systems. Persons on campus will hear an audible public address message followed by the statewide tornado siren test. Immediately following that siren test will be another audible public address message and a test launch to the Alertus Desktop system. If there is inclement weather on April 13, 2016, this test will be rescheduled for April 14, 2016, at 1:30 p.m.

“It is important for all members of the MSU community to know what alerts may be sent to better prepare themselves," said Capt. Penny Fischer, MSU Police. “We all must be ready well in advance of unpredicted danger, and we’re asking our community to take a few extra steps during this drill to ensure they’re prepared and safe. We are asking campus members to review where shelter locations exist in the areas they frequent and have a discussion with those around you about what you should do in an emergency.”

For more information about being safe before, during and after a disaster, please go to police.msu.edu.