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NIU Police to test emergency notification system Dec. 6

December 4, 2013

NIU Safety BulletinThe Northern Illinois University Department of Police and Public Safety will conduct a test of its emergency notification system the afternoon of Friday, 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 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 [email protected] with an address like [email protected] 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.

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 home page, Emergency information page and the Department of Police and Public Safety web page.

NIU Emergency 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 annual test ensures that NIU’s emergency notification system is working properly,” said NIU Chief of Police Thomas Phillips. “We encourage people to verify and update their contact information in MyNIU before the test takes place and report if they have registered a mobile phone number but did not receive a text alert during the test.”

To receive NIU safety bulletins to their mobile phones, students and employees should provide or update their mobile phone at 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.

New Safety Bulletin Categories

As part of the annual review of the university’s emergency notification system, the NIU PD has established three categories of NIU Safety Bulletins to notify the university community of important information and enhance personal safety: Emergency Alerts, Timely Warnings and Community Awareness Bulletins. This replaces the Alert and Advisory categories previously used.

Emergency Alerts

An NIU Emergency Alert is a mass notification broadcast that is initiated upon confirmation that an emergency is currently occurring on or imminently threatening the health or safety of people on campus. The intent of an NIU Emergency Alert is to notify as many people as possible, as rapidly as possible, of a dangerous situation with instructions and follow-up information as needed.

An NIU Emergency Alert may be delivered by all or a combination of the following methods of distribution:

Timely Warnings

Timely Warnings are mass notification broadcasts initiated when a crime has occurred on or near campus and is considered by NIU Police to represent a continuing but not an immediate threat to the campus community. NIU Timely Warnings will be updated with additional information as it becomes available. The intent of an NIU Timely Warning is to provide the timely information necessary to allow people to protect themselves and aid in the prevention of similar crimes.

An NIU Timely Warning may be delivered by all or a combination of the following methods of distribution:

Community Awareness Bulletins

An NIU Community Awareness Bulletin is a mass notification broadcast that is initiated to disseminate information about important topics that are in the interest of the well-being of the community. The intent of an NIU Community Awareness Bulletin is to advise the campus community about health and safety issues (crime prevention, traffic and weather info) so people can make informed decisions.

An NIU Community Awareness Bulletin may be delivered by all or a combination of the following methods of distribution:

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

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

More information regarding NIU’s three-tiered notification system, public safety programs and other important safety and security information may be found at