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Annual Test of BU Emergency Alert System Set for Thursday

System provides critical warnings when there’s a crisis

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If you have a BU email address, expect to hear from the BU Emergency Alert System tomorrow morning. The BU Alert, which sends information during emergencies to the BU community via email, cell phone, text message, or landline, will be conducting its annual federally mandated test of the system at approximately 10:50 am tomorrow, Thursday, October 11. The test is designed to ensure that the system is working properly. The test message will also be posted on the BU homepage, on BU Today, and on the BU Emergency Management website, as well as on Twitter at @BUPolice and on each of the more than 120 stations on the BU TV cable system.

The Emergency Alert System is designed to provide rapid and reliable mass communication to students, staff, and faculty in the event of a crisis, such as a crime incident, or a time-sensitive situation, such as a weather-related closing.

Students wishing to update their information or to add a cell phone number can do so by going to the Student Link.

Faculty and staff who want to add a landline or cell phone number or pager can do so by logging on to BU Works, clicking first on the Employee Self-Service tab, then the personal information tab, and then proceeding to the BU Alert Information tab.

“BU Alert is the quickest and most efficient method we have of notifying our community of situations that could impact their safety,” says Stephen Morash, director of emergency management. “In emergency situations, seconds count. Our main objective is to give the BU community information as soon as we have it to protect them and keep them apprised of the incident until its conclusion.”

BU instituted the alert system in 2008 to expedite announcements pertaining to crimes, bad weather, and other instances of possible disruptions to University operations. In the event of a message, people are urged to read the message, to alert other people, and to carefully follow the instructions given with the message.

“Last month, we saw an extraordinary incident in Essex County, north of Boston, where homes were exploding, houses burned, and one young man lost his life as a result of a gas line incident. The emergency notification system alerted people there as soon as possible to potential dangers, showing that it can make a difference between life and death,” Morash says.

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