September 12, 2013



Be prepared, get emergency alerts

By Stephen Broccolo

You can receive important and life-saving announcements from new technology that you may not be aware of: a Wireless Emergency Alert, or WEA.

Cellphones can now potentially help save lives and keep us safe. You do not need to register to receive notifications. You will automatically receive alerts if you have a WEA-capable phone and your wireless carrier participates in the program.

Emergencies can occur at any time and in any place. Since June 2012, more than 3,500 WEAs have been issued, including alerts that were sent to various areas during Hurricane Sandy last year. WEAs are free messages sent by local public safety officials and the National Weather Service to warn about imminent danger, AMBER Alerts and national emergencies. The 90-character WEAs use one-way cell broadcast technology to send alerts even if other wireless voice and data services in the area are highly congested.

At Kansas State University we have K-State Alerts. It is Kansas State University's emergency notification system that gives campus authorities the ability to communicate emergency information quickly to the university community using some or all of the following channels:

  • Text messaging
  • Automated phone calls
  • Broadcast emails to all @k-state.edu accounts
  • Alert beacons
  • Police public address systems
  • Campus carillon in the Anderson Hall tower
  • Tornado warning sirens
  • K-State staff carrying radios
  • Postings to the K-State website

Sign up for K-State Alerts to receive notifications by text messaging or automated phone call, you must sign up for K-State Alerts. Current K-State faculty, staff and students may sign up for text and phone alerts.

Several sources are available for more information about Wireless Emergency Alert and National Preparedness Month, "Wireless Emergency Alerts" 30 sec English PSA with closed captioning and "Wireless Emergency Alerts" 30 sec Spanish PSA closed captioning.

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