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Lehigh to test new LU-ALERT system

The new LU-ALERT text messaging system that was introduced this fall will be tested campus-wide in mid-November to assess the system’s effectiveness in reaching the campus community.

At 10 a.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 14, all students, faculty and staff who registered and validated their contact information for the new system at the start of the fall semester will be sent a test text message that will request them to call a designated phone number to confirm receipt of the message.

The test of this system will not only identify procedural issues that need to be addressed, but will help acquaint the Lehigh community with the process of receiving the messages, administrators say.

“This process will help us ensure that we have a system in place that will operate swiftly and effectively,” says John Smeaton, vice provost for student affairs.

The new LU-ALERT service is administered through an external provider, e2Campus, and joins a number of safety initiatives already in place to safeguard the campus community, according to Smeaton.

The new system—which will only be used in the event of an extreme emergency that impacts a significant number of people—will permit Lehigh administrators to send a short text message to all those who have subscribed to the service. The message will provide specific instructions on the appropriate course of action in the event of such an emergency.

This system is a refinement of an earlier system that was introduced this past spring and offers Lehigh an expanded host of options for contacting individuals in an emergency situation.

Cell phone numbers collected through this process will be stored in a secure database and will only be used in the event of imminent danger, or when an emergency situation will impact a significant number of people.

Members of the Lehigh community will also be able to access comprehensive information regarding an emergency through a new Emergency Preparedness Web site, which will continue to be developed over the fall semester.

To register for the new LU-ALERT service, go to http://www.lehigh.edu/lu-alert, log into the campus portal and follow the instructions for registration.

--Linda Harbrecht

Posted on Friday, November 09, 2007

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