WEA Nationwide Test Wednesday, UConnAlert notifies students in event of an emergency


File- UConn students should expect an alert from the Federal Emergency Management Agency on Wednesday. Phone alerts should be nothing new for UConn residents. (File photo/ The Daily Campus)

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will send Wireless Emergency Alerts to every phone in the country as a nationwide test, according to a press release from the FEMA office.

“FEMA will send a test WEA to cell phones around the country on October 3, 2018, followed by a test message via the Emergency Alert System to radio, television, cable, and direct broadcast satellite systems,” the release said.

The University of Connecticut sends messages to all students through a similar alerting system called UConn Alert.  

“The UConnAlert is in place to provide a definitive source of information regarding emergency information, campus operating status, and major alterations to university schedules to the students, faculty, and staff of UConn,” William P. Shea, spokesperson for the UConn Division of Public Safety, said.

Through wireless transmission technology, students will receive a message during an emergency, Shea said. All UConn students are automatically enrolled in UConnAlert via student email and will receive notifications when they put their phone number into the Student Administration System.

“Text messaging is very reliable during an emergency due to increased cell and data usage.  Students are also more likely to see a text message before they would see an email message,” Shea said.

The system is consistent and prompt, making it the most efficient system available for alerting students, Shea said.

“UConnAlert is a highly reliable communications platform and, in the event of an emergency, capable of transmitting information to the UConn students, faculty and staff very rapidly,” Shea said.

Bianca Castelan is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at bianca.castelan@uconn.edu.

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