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Tuesday, February 12, 2013 - OU text message alert system to be tested today, Tuesday, Feb. 12

On a campus of nearly 20,000 students, it is important to stay well informed. Oakland University’s text messaging alert system allows students, faculty and staff to be among the first to know if and when a crisis situation or campus closure occurs.

Using the cell phones of registered users, university police and communications personnel are able to rapidly distribute information necessary to protect the health, safety and welfare of the campus community. The system is also used to notify users of any university closure or campus wide cancellation of classes.

Oakland police administrators are pleased to have this highly efficient tool as part of a comprehensive emergency communication system, but stress that only those who subscribe to the service can receive the text alerts. Voice alerts are available for those with phones that do not have text messaging capability.

Text message alert recipients can rest assured that they’ll never be bothered with unnecessary distractions. Outside of system tests conducted once each semester, alerts are broadcast only when it is determined that there is an imminent threat of danger to people on campus, or in the event of a university closure or campus wide cancellation of classes.

A campus wide system test for the Winter 2013 semester has been scheduled for about 1 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 12.

All currently enrolled students and active employees who haven’t already registered for this free service are strongly encouraged to do so. A quick and easy online form is available at oakland.edu/ready. Visitors will need their OU e-mail address and Grizzly ID to register.

Those interested in taking part in the system test, but who are not currently registered to receive alerts, should sign up at least 24 hours in advance to allow for account activation. Former system users who have not had an active oakland.edu e-mail account for more than 12 months must re-register to renew their subscription, and any user who has obtained a new cell phone number since registering for text alerts will need to update their account.

The university community also is advised to keep the following emergency preparedness and campus safety tips in mind:

  • In addition to text messaging alert system, the OUPD is now capable of receiving text message tips and reports. They can be sent to the OUPD dispatcher at 911@oakland.edu. E-mail messages can be sent to the same address.
  • Complete information on OU’s emergency preparedness and communication plans – which covers university closings, tornado warnings, psychological emergencies, lock downs, evacuations, bomb threats, hazardous material incidents and more – are available online at the Emergency Preparedness website.