November 13, 2015
K-State Alerts experiences successful test; enacts some severe weather changes
Changes are ahead for K-State Alerts. The system experienced a successful test on Nov. 2 and also is removing severe thunderstorm alerts that subscribers previously received.
K-State Alerts, the university's emergency notification system, is used when a dangerous condition exists on any of K-State's campuses. The system is tested twice a year to ensure that it will work during an actual emergency.
The Nov. 2 K-State Alerts system performance test saw encouraging numbers, said Rob Caffey, director of the Office of Mediated Education.
"Overall, we are happy with the success rates and speed of the K-State Alerts system," Caffey said. "We continue to look for ways to improve the system and better inform our students, faculty and staff about potential emergency situations."
In an emergency, it is critical that people receive alerts as quickly as possible, Caffey said. Of the 13,637 total text messages sent during the test, more than 99 percent were successfully delivered in 1 minute, 35 seconds or less. A total of 48,008 emails were sent and more than 99 percent were successfully delivered. Approximately 95 percent of emails were delivered in less than 7 minutes.
The voice alert success rate was 78.84 percent. The lower voice alert success rate is often because of factors such as busy signals, unanswered calls and operator intercepts, Caffey said.
Additionally, K-State Alerts is making changes to some severe weather notifications. Subscribers will no longer receive notifications for severe thunderstorms. K-State Alerts will provide severe weather alerts that affect campus, such as road closings or class cancellations.
Those who subscribe to K-State Alerts are encouraged to use severe weather resources and smartphone apps.
Such websites and smartphone applications include:
- National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration: noaa.gov or smartphone app.
- AccuWeather: accuweather.com or smartphone app.
- The Weather Channel: weather.com or smartphone app.
- Websites and smartphone apps for local and regional news outlets and organizations.
To sign up to receive K-State Alerts 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.
Officials recommend checking the website to ensure K-State Alerts has current phone numbers and email addresses.