A recent test of K-State Alerts -- the university's emergency notification system -- was highly successful, with at least 98 percent of subscribers receiving text, phone and e-mail messages.
"A timely response to any emergency on campus will be critical," said Steve Galitzer, director of environmental health and safety at K-State. "That's why we test the alert system twice a year to make sure it not only reaches those who have signed up, but that it does so quickly. To say the least, we are very pleased with the results of this last test."
The test, which took place at 10 a.m. Oct. 14, tried out the system's ability to send text messages, automated phone calls and e-mail to all K-State accounts, as well as activate the new alert beacons installed recently in Eisenhower Hall and behind the front desks of residence halls on the Manhattan campus.
Following the test, a survey was sent to 7,696 K-Staters who had at least one phone number registered to receive either text or automated phone calls. The survey was to determine whether and how quickly subscribers received the test messages.
Of the 7,810 text messages sent to cell phones, cell phone providers indicated that 7,775 of them -- or 99 percent -- were received within 3 minutes and 44 seconds. Half of the survey respondents indicated that they got the message right at 10 a.m.
Of the 8,610 automated phone calls sent over a period of one hour and 36 minutes, 8,431 were deemed successful. Sixty-one percent of those surveyed indicated they received the phone call by 10:10 a.m. K-State Alerts attempts to call and play the emergency message at least three times before stopping.
For e-mails sent to K-State addresses, 34,900 messages were sent in 16 minutes, and 34,881 -- or 99.9 percent -- were deemed successful. Ninety-two percent of those surveyed said they received the message.
The 18 new alert beacons in Eisenhower Hall and each residence hall also were successfully tested. Since the test, 33 more beacons have been installed on campus -- and more will be installed in the coming months.
K-State Alerts is used to notify the campus community of dangerous conditions on campus, such as an active shooter or university closure due to severe weather.
K-Staters have the option of registering as many as three cell phone numbers to receive emergency text messages and automated phone calls, as well as three land lines for automated phone calls. Subscribers may also register as many as three e-mail addresses to receive notifications.
To receive emergency notifications by text message or an automated phone call, students, faculty and staff with active K-State eIDs must enroll in K-State Alerts through the eProfile system. Eligible K-Staters can add contact information of parents, children and spouses when they sign up. The eProfile system is available at: http://eid.k-state.edu
K-Staters are encouraged to save the K-State Alerts phone numbers in their cell phones so they will recognize the call/text is an emergency message in the future. Automated phone calls come from 785-532-0111, while text messages come from 67283 or 226787.
The multi-modal K-State Alerts system also includes public address systems used by police; the campus carillon in the Anderson Hall tower; tornado warning sirens; K-State staff carrying radios; and postings to the K-State Web site, which were not tested Oct. 14.
More information about K-State Alerts is available at: http://www.k-state.edu/safety/alerts