NIU emergency notification system test Dec. 6

The Northern Illinois University Department of Police and Public Safety will conduct a test of its emergency notification system at 1:55 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 6.

All current students and employees who have provided a mobile phone number through MyNIU should receive a text message at that number and an email at their NIU email address that is clearly labeled as a test of NIU’s emergency notification system.

The following test message will be sent via text message (SMS) at that time:

Subject line: *TEST* NIU Alert *TEST*

Body of message: This is a TEST of the new N I U Emergency Notification System. This is only a TEST.

The text message will come from number 893-61. The email will come from safetybulletin@niu.edu with an address like conf-123456789@everbridge.net appended after it. This is not spam; Everbridge is the university’s emergency notification system provider.

The text and email messages will ask for a confirmation of receipt. Please respond to the message upon receipt in order to verify that the message was received. If a response is not received, a phone call will also be made to the registered mobile number.

A test text message will also be sent to the mobile phone numbers of the first two emergency contacts a student has provided through MyNIU. Parents and family members of student who wish to receive NIU Safety Bulletins should verify with their NIU student that their mobile phone number has been added to their student’s MyNIU account. More information on registering parents is available at http://www.niu.edu/emergencyinfo/register/index.shtml#parents.

The emergency notification system test is required on an annual basis to comply with the federal Clery Act. In the event of an imminent and verifiable threat to the lives and safety of the general campus population, a text message (SMS) notification would be sent to text-enabled cell phones, and an email would be sent to all active NIU email addresses for faculty, staff and students.

When this alert is triggered, the message will also be broadcast audibly through the fire alarm system in campus buildings with this capability.

Alert information would also appear on the niu.edu home page, Emergency information page and the Department of Police and Public Safety page.

NIU Alerts are designed to give a brief description of the situation and provide initial instructions to the community. Upon receiving an NIU Alert, people should immediately share the information with those nearby.

“This is an important test in order to make sure the new emergency notification system is working properly,” said Darren Mitchell, acting chief of police and director of NIU’s Office of Emergency Management & Planning. “We encourage people to verify their contact information in MyNIU before the test takes place and also to report if they have a mobile phone number listed but did not receive a text alert during the test.”

To receive NIU safety bulletins, students and employees should provide or update their mobile phone at myniu.niu.edu. If after the test takes place on Dec. 6, a registrant did not receive a test text alert, notify the ITS Helpdesk at (815) 753-8100 to report the problem.

Northern Illinois University provides two types of safety bulletins as part of its emergency notification system:

NIU Alerts are only issued if there is an imminent threat to the lives and safety of the general campus population and are delivered via SMS.

NIU Advisories are timely notifications of potential emergency (safety, electrical/power outages in academic buildings and residence halls, criminal, health, hazardous weather) activity on or near campus where the threat is NOT immediate or life-threatening.

Both alerts and advisories are distributed via text and email.

“I encourage all faculty, staff and students to register for our emergency text alerts at MyNIU,” said NIU Vice President for the Division of University Relations Kathy Buettner. “Students may register other emergency contacts through their MyNIU account as well.”

More information regarding Campus Text Alerts and Campus Email Advisories, public safety programs and other important safety and security information may be found at http://www.niu.edu/emergencyinfo/.

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