August 17, 2007
Webster University Implements New Emergency Alert System
Webster University is implementing a mass notification system to be used to alert students, faculty, staff and Comm. Music school parents in the event of an on- campus emergency or school closure due to weather. Webster is with Omnilert utilizing their e2Campus system to offer this service.
Individuals will be able to use a self-service web interface to opt-in to receiving only the notifications they choose. These optional alerts will be available to faculty, students, staff, Community Music School parents—or anyone else such as parents, spouses, or community members.
The choice of notification methods will include SMS text messages to a cell phone, an email account (personal or University), a Blackberry or text pager, a RSS feed, or any combination of these.
The service will first be implemented for the St. Louis metro area only, and will offer the choice of receiving emergency alerts and/or, notification about severe weather and other campus closings/delays.
Initially there will be six optional alerts—the first five being used only in extreme circumstances where there is an immediate threat to life or property.
- Webster Groves campus alerts
- Old Post Office campus alerts
- Winghaven campus alerts
- Westport campus alerts
- Community Music School alerts
- St. Louis Metro Area weather notifications
Any one may opt-in to as many alert categories as desired. For example, while someone is teaching or talking classes at multiple St. Louis metropolitan locations, they may want to opt-in to all of the alerts for those sites, then opt-out when they no longer have classes there.
Over time, additional mass notification services will be expand to other types of optional notifications, as well as being expanded to include Webster’s extended campuses.
Signup is fast and easy, simply go to http://www.webster.edu/technology/websteralerts/ and go to the new user signup form.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Who can get Webster Alerts?
Webster Alerts is available to any student, faculty, staff or Community Music School parents directly affected by an emergency on the Webster Groves, Westport, Winghaven or Old Post Office locations.
Why should I get Webster Alerts?
Text messaging is more reliable in emergency situations when communication systems reach high capacity. Text messages will get through when phone calls won't.
You will receive alerts anywhere, even when you do not have access to a computer.
You will have the assurance of knowing that should an emergency occur you will be notified immediately
What types/how many messages will I receive?
You can then choose which types of messages you wish to receive, emergency notifications for specified locations, weather notifications or both. Emergency notifications will only be used in situations where there is an immediate threat to life or property. Weather notifications will be sent when there is sever weather or other issues that would cause a cancellation or delay in classes or operations.
What do I need to get Webster Alerts and how much does it cost?
All you need is a cell phone with text messaging capabilities. There is no charge to users for signing up. Text message charges may apply for receiving messages, depending on your cell phone plan.
Will my cell phone number/email address be kept confidential?
Yes. Webster University and e2Campus keep your cell phone number and email address confidential. It will not be shared or sold to any other institution or organization. We will NOT spam you, messages will only be sent if there is an emergency or weather related issue.
Do I need to use my Connections username and password to signup?
No, you can choose any username and password, Webster Alerts is not linked to Connections.
Can I add more than one phone number or email address?
Yes, you can add up to two phone numbers and two email addresses per account.