Emergency notification system test set for Friday, Oct. 21

Oct. 19, 2016 1:42 p.m.

The University will conduct a campus-wide test of its emergency notification system beginning at 1 p.m. Friday, Oct. 21, to ensure that members of the University community can receive information during a campus crisis or emergency.

The test will include the Princeton Telephone and E-mail Notification System (PTENS), the blue light tower outdoor notification system and   a system of pop-up messages on computers logged into University networks. Testing of the individual towers will be done by broadcasting a tone followed by a voice message: "Attention please. This is a test of the Princeton University emergency notification system. This is only a test."

Members of the campus community should not take any action if they hear the test messages.

University computers that receive software updates through the University's DeSC program will receive the computer pop-up message application automatically. Other non-DeSC machines connected to campus networks can receive desktop alerts if users download and install the Alertus desktop notification application, which is available online.

The University is also providing two new emergency mobile applications, the Alertus and the Princeton Personal Safety mobile applications. The Alertus mobile application allows anyone regardless of affiliation to "opt-in" to receive University emergency notifications. You can find more information on the Alertus desktop and mobile app on the Emergency Management website.

The Personal Safety application allows members of the campus community to send an immediate distress call to DPS with a swipe of this new app. For more information and to sign up for the Princeton Personal Safety App, visit the University’s Emergency Management website (http://emergency.princeton.edu/stay-connected/princeton-personal-safety-app).

Although the message will advise that it is a test, individuals should give advance notice of the test to anyone who might receive the message instead of the intended recipient, such as family members or roommates, as well as visitors to the campus.

As an additional precaution, it is important for individuals who receive official emergency alerts to share information with others nearby, in case they have not yet received the communication. Individuals also should limit the use of telephones during an emergency to prevent overloading the telecommunications system.

In the event of an actual emergency, the University would continue to relay critical information using the most appropriate options from a range of notification resources, such as the University's homepage, email, social media, an automated message line and door-to-door notifications. The manner of notification would depend on the nature of the emergency.   

All members of the University community should visit the University's emergency management website to learn more about what steps to take to prepare for and respond to various types of emergencies. All students, faculty and staff are encouraged to register for emergency preparedness training sessions through the Employee Learning Center.

To ensure inclusion in the test, all faculty, staff and students should update their personal contact information through the appropriate self-service websites no later than 5 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 20. Options for undergraduate and graduate students to add or edit phone and email contact information are provided through  TigerHub. University employees can check and update their contact information through the Office of Human Resources self-service website.

For more information about the notification system, visit the PTENS Frequently Asked Questions page. People with further questions about the PTENS system should send email to PTENS@princeton.edu. The Princeton Police Department has been notified about the testing.

Any member of the campus community who has questions or concerns should contact the Department of Public Safety at 609-258-1000.