Campus & Community / Magazine Feature

Alert system sends out the message about snow closure

Nearly 7,000 DU students, faculty and staff learned of Thursday’s snow closure through DU’s Critical Incident Notification System (CINS). It was the first time since the system was installed that it was a activated due to heavy snow.

In 2007, DU became one of the first universities in Colorado to launch an emergency alert system, which is capable of sending text messages to cell phones along with voice messages to cell and landline numbers. The system also sends e-mails to all campus accounts, regardless of whether someone has opted for the phone messages.

So far, the system has been used sparingly for weather-related messages. Campus Safety officials say the system worked efficiently. Notifications for the snow closure started arriving on cell phones at approximately 6:15 a.m. Thursday morning.

“It took less than 30 minutes from the time we learned of the closure early Thursday morning for the information to be sent to the campus community,” says Don Enloe, director of Campus Safety. “We only use the system for major campus emergencies or if DU is closed due to heavy snow.”

On Friday, the system was used again to notify students, faculty and staff that the University was re-opening. The messages started arriving on cell phones at around 5:30 a.m.

Currently, 5,502 students, 932 staff and 292 faculty have registered for emergency messages. The system is tested quarterly to ensure that individuals are receiving messages through each of the methods they chose.

Registration is available by logging into MyWeb using a Banner ID, clicking on Personal Information and going to Notification Preferences located on the top of the page. The alert system is part of DU’s larger Critical Incident Management Program.

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