Test planned for new notification system, May 11 -- UPDATE

May 3, 2007 10 a.m.

Princeton will conduct a campus-wide test of its new emergency notification system Friday, May 11, to ensure that members of the University community can be contacted in times of crisis.

All faculty, staff and students must update their personal contact information through the appropriate self-service websites no later than 5 p.m. Thursday, May 10, to ensure inclusion in the test. A new option for entering text message addresses was added this week to the Student Course Online Registration Engine (SCORE) database, where undergraduate and graduate students enter their information, and also to the Office of Human Resources self-service website for University employees.

Please note: All individuals must have at least one valid phone number listed for the notification system to accept a contact record. People who provide only their SMS text message e-mail address will not be recognized. Answers to frequently asked questions about receiving emergency notifications are available on the University's Emergency Guidelines for the Campus Community Web page.

Updating personal contact information is the best way for individuals to confirm that the University could reach them in the event of a crisis. Individuals should notify anyone who may receive the test message instead of the intended recipient -- for example, family members or roommates -- of the May 11 test date.

During the test, campus administrators will use the Connect-ED notification system to send simultaneous alerts to individuals through landline phones, cellular phones, text messaging and e-mail from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. All of the University's estimated 12,000 faculty, staff and students are expected to receive their messages within minutes of the distribution to various groups. Individuals should not respond to the test message.

The Connect-ED tool, purchased in early April, complements the communication tools the University already has in place to respond to a range of emergencies that may include weather-related closings, environmental health crises, public safety incidents and other unique emergency situations. In the event of an actual emergency, the University will continue to relay critical information using the most appropriate options from a full range of notification resources, such as: Web announcements, e-mail, an automated message line, the new Tiger TV emergency alert system, local radio stations, door-to-door notifications and posters.

The benefits of the Connect-ED system are its immediacy and direct access to individual campus members through multiple points of contact. The May 11 test message will begin by stating: "This is a test of the Princeton University emergency notification system."

The notification system accesses six phone numbers, in addition to two e-mail addresses and a separate text messaging address that now should be entered in the newly created field in the SCORE and human resources systems. While students, faculty and staff previously were instructed to list their text message e-mail address as "an alternate e-mail address" when updating information, the Connect-ED system automatically will send SMS text messages to the address provided in this new "Text Message" field in emergencies. For individuals who entered a text address before the new field was created, that address will be moved automatically to the new field. Individuals would receive a text message in addition to receiving the alerts by phone and e-mail.

The text message e-mail address depends on the cell phone service provider, and several template addresses are listed below:

Alltel: PhoneNumber@alltell.com (example: If your cell phone number is (609) 123-4567, your text message e-mail address would be 6091234567@alltell.com)
AT&T Wireless: PhoneNumber@mmode.com
Cingular: PhoneNumber@mobile.mycingular.com
Metrocall: PhoneNumber@pagemetrocall.com
Nextel: PhoneNumber@messaging.nextel.com
Sprint PCS: PhoneNumber@messaging.sprintpcs.com
T-Mobile: PhoneNumber@tmomail.net
Verizon: PhoneNumber@vtext.com