Emergency system ready for use

By Angelina Cole

The Emergency Text Message Notification System is fully operational as of Wednesday. Although tests are still being done on the number of messages that can be sent at a given time, the system is ready for use.

When activated, the system will go though each student and staff member according to University identification number and send a message to all outlets specified by the recipient.

After one recipient gets their set of emergency messages, the system will move on to the next number and continue until it reaches the end of the list.

This ensures that even students without capabilities to receive text messages will still be made aware of the necessary information should an emergency situation arise.

“The default is your UIUC e-mail address,” said Mark Briggs, director of Risk Management. “What we want is for everyone, especially students, to go in and put their text message information in.”

Text messages are the most efficient way to send a message to students and faculty in terms of time and quantity of messages, Briggs said.

The University will continue to conduct its own tests of the system separate from students and faculty.

“We’re going to be testing in the magnitude of thousands in the next couple of weeks,” Briggs said. “Within a couple weeks after that, we’re going to be testing in the magnitude of tens of thousands.”

The testing ensures that the system is robust and stable in every way, Briggs said.

“Once we get everyone enrolled (with additional information) then we can do a full-scale test and then we can answer the question, ‘What percentage are contacted in what time frame,'” Briggs said. “Until we do that, we can only speculate.”