UT Alert

Frequently Asked Questions


General Information

  1. What is UT Alert?

    UT Alert is a method of notifying the campus community about serious emergencies, ongoing situations or disruptions to normal operations on campus in a timely manner. Once students, faculty or staff sign up for UT ALERT, they will begin receiving text messages through their cellular phone. Subscribers can also sign up to receive the same UT Alert message through their UT e-mail account.

  2. How do I sign up for UT ALERT?

    It's easy! Just log in using your NetID and password and follow the instructions. The registration for new subscribers requires two steps: the entering of information and then sending a confirmation text message.

  3. Is there a cost?

    No. The only charges you could incur would be the normal fees charged by your mobile service provider for receiving text messages.

  4. Is UT ALERT just for cell phones?

    The UT ALERT system sends messages to any device that can receive text messages through cellular service, such as cell phones, text pagers and smart phones. UT Alert messages may also be sent to your e-mail. We recommend that you choose both options when you sign up or to update their account to receive messages both ways.

  5. When will I get a UT Alert message?

    A UT Alert message will be sent when there is a situation on or near our campus that could impact the safety of our campus community or its normal operations, i.e. a large-scale gas leak, fire, or hazardous material spill.

    Examples:

    • An ongoing safety threat in which an armed person is at large on or near campus.
    • Severe weather - a threat from a tornado requiring people to shelter or university closing due to significant snow fall.
  6. Will I get advertising messages from UT Alert?

    No. UT Alert will not be used to deliver any kind of advertising content, and mobile numbers will never be given to any third party.

  7. Can my parents or guardian subscribe to UT Alert?

    The system is designed to notify only members of our campus community. The best source of information for your parents or other concerned people is the website at www.utk.edu.

  8. What if I don't have a cell phone or my cell phone doesn't have text messaging?

    UT Alert is just one of the communication channels used in the event of an emergency. It does not replace any other means of communication. In significant emergencies, the university utilizes their broadcast (mass) e-mail system to notify all members of the campus community. You can also monitor the web site www.utk.edu, and local media during a prolonged emergency or safety threat.


Making Account Updates and Unsubscribing

  1. How do I change my cell phone number or update my contact information?

    Log in and update any of your information, including your primary cell phone number. You will need your NET I.D. and your password to log in. After you make the changes, the system will display a completion notice.

  2. How do I stop receiving UT Alert messages?

    You can opt out of receiving UT Alert text messages at any time by texting STOP to 34292.

    Once you send the STOP message, you should receive a text message on your phone to confirm that you've been removed from the text message list.

    You must log in to your account, however, to stop receiving the e-mail messages in order to be completely removed from the UT Alert system.


Additional Details about Communicating During Emergencies

  1. How long does it take to receive a UT ALERT message?

    It may take several minutes for text messages to reach the more than 22,000 students, faculty and staff who have subscribed. UT Alert messages are sent simultaneously through e-mail and text message channels. There are several factors that affect how quickly you will receive a message. The UT Alert text messaging system can distribute text messages to all its subscribers in approximately five minutes. However, individual cell phone providers may not be able to deliver messages to the individual devices at the same pace.

    Because UT Alert e-mail messages are more likely to be delivered first, we recommend that you to register for both methods of communication.

  2. What do I do when I receive an alert?

    Use the brief information in the message to make immediate decisions about your safety. Then seek additional information and direction by visiting www.utk.edu. You should also monitor your e-mail for information the university sends to all faculty, staff and students through their broadcast e-mail system and follow the university's social media and local media outlets.

  3. How do I know an emergency is over?

    The university will use several communication methods to let people know that the immediate threat has passed and/or that campus operations have returned to normal.

    Why do I sometimes get two messages about an incident and then other times I get only e-mail notification, but no text message?

    The university will sometimes send the same information contained in a UT Alert text message in an e-mail to all students, faculty and staff. In these cases, UT Alert subscribers get two similar messages.

    These university's broadcast e-mail messages are sent separately from the UT Alert notification system. There will also be times when there is a need to notify the campus community about a crime that has occurred and the circumstances do not require an immediate action (i.e. stay away from a specific area, shelter in place). In that case, subscribers would not get a UT Alert text message.

  4. In the event an emergency, how else will UT notify the campus?

    In addition to text messages, broadcast e-mail and the website, the university may utilize campus blue light phones which turn into public address loudspeakers when needed. Brief updates will also be made to UT’s social media outlets Facebook and Twitter.

  5. Who sends the notification? What's displayed in the sender line?

    UT Alert text messages will always come from 34292 and reference UT Alert. The subject line will say UT Alert and the email will come from UTAlert@utk.edu.

    E-mail messages sent by the university to all students, faculty, and staff will come from UT Police.

  6. Have additional questions or problems?

    Contact utalert-help@utk.edu for assistance or call 865-974-3061.


I am signed up but not receiving the message, what should I do?

If you are still having problems receiving the message, contact utalert-help@utk.edu or call 865-974-3061 for assistance.

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