KU launches emergency alert Web site

The University of Kansas issued the following news release:

To help keep the university community prepared for and informed during campus emergencies, the University of Kansas has launched www.alert.ku.edu, a comprehensive site that provides emergency preparedness information and will be the central location for updates during a crisis.

In addition, the site will be the starting point for students, faculty and staff to sign up for KU's emergency text messaging service, now in its second year. More than 17,000 have signed up to receive cell phone text messages alerting them to emergency situations and campus closures, university officials announced.

"Communicating in a crisis is imperative," said Chancellor Robert Hemenway. "This new site provides the facts the university community needs in order to make informed decisions during an emergency or other type of alert situation."

During a crisis, visitors to the university home page will be directed to the alert.ku.edu page for updates.

The alert.ku.edu site contains tips and information about what to do in crisis events such as weather and medical emergencies, power outages, environmental hazards such as gas leaks or flooding, bomb threats and suicide threats.

In addition to a link to the text message sign-up, there are links to the university's recently updated emergency management plan, KU's annual security report and information about the university's multitiered emergency notification strategy.

That strategy includes:

* Text messaging: Cell phone text messages alerting recipients to emergency situations and campus closures.

* Public address system: The system allows emergency dispatchers in the 911 center to provide real-time voice messages to an individual building, a group of buildings or to all equipped buildings. The public address system includes most classroom and gathering spaces on campus.

* E-mail alerts: The university has established an emergency broadcast e-mail system to reach approximately 33,000 KU e-mail accounts.

* Voice mail: Faculty and staff with voice mail-equipped phones can receive a broadcast voice mail message.

Students, faculty and staff also are strongly encouraged keep their emergency contact information up to date. Visit https://sa.ku.edu to update emergency contact information, including names and phone numbers of parents, guardians, spouses and partners.