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MTSU schedules spring alert test Feb. 24 for campus community

MTSU is helping students, faculty and staff receive urgent communications by scheduling this semester’s special emergency-alert test message for this Wednesday, Feb. 24.

Beginning at 1:15 p.m. Wednesday, MTSU’s Critical Notification System, provided by Rave Mobile Safety, will send a test message to the university’s 26,000-plus registered users via email, text and automated phone calls.

MTSU students take advantage of the springlike late-winter weather outside the Student Union and Paul W. Martin Sr. Honors College Building. The university will test its Critical Notification System Wednesday, Feb. 24, with a simple email, text and voice message to more than 26,000 users to ensure that students, faculty and staff properly receive urgent communications. (MTSU photo by Andy Heidt)

MTSU students take advantage of the spring-like late-winter weather outside the Student Union and Paul W. Martin Sr. Honors College Building. The university will test its Critical Notification System Wednesday, Feb. 24, with a simple email, text and voice message to more than 26,000 users to ensure that students, faculty and staff properly receive urgent communications. (MTSU photo by Andy Heidt)

The university’s website, www.mtsu.edu, its MTSUNews.com news site, and all digital signage around the Murfreesboro campus will display the message just as they do during an actual emergency alert, along with the university’s primary social media channels.

The university’s Twitter account, @MTSUNews, will tweet the test alert, as will the @MTSUAlert emergency notification account and the @MTSU account. The alert also will post to the MTSU and university police Facebook pages.

This process mirrors similar tests conducted last summer and fall semesters. The university evaluates its systems during and after each test to pinpoint and fix any potential communication problems.

Previous tests showed a near-100 percent success rate; digital signage in campus buildings, for example, displayed the test alert messages within 30 seconds of transmission.

MTSU’s Critical Notification System is one of several components the university uses to enhance the overall safety and emergency preparedness of the campus community, officials said.

System tests are being held once each semester — on the last Wednesday of February, June and October — at the same time of day.

Rave Mobile Safety logo webThe university already conducts routine monthly tests of its tornado sirens on campus and at the Miller Coliseum Complex to ensure proper operations. Those tests don’t involve other components of the Critical Notification System, however.

Click on the MTSU Police Department's new logo to visit the university's FAQ page for its critical notifications system and "Alert4U" tips.

Click on the MTSU Police Department’s new logo to visit the university’s FAQ page for its critical notifications system and “Alert4U” tips.

All current MTSU students, faculty and staff automatically receive email alerts from Rave at their MTSU addresses about emergencies, weather cancellations and other critical information.

Users also can choose to receive text and/or voice alerts by adding phone numbers to their personal Rave accounts, which are accessed with their PipelineMT usernames and passwords at www.getrave.com/login/mtsu.

Non-MTSU users don’t have access to the system. Users are automatically deleted from the system when they graduate or permanently leave school or full-time employment.

You can learn more about MTSU’s Critical Notification System at its FAQ page, www.mtsu.edu/alert4u/faqs.php. Information about the alert system is also always available on the university’s weather information page, www.mtsunews.com/weather.

— Gina E. Fann (gina.fann@mtsu.edu)