WarnMe test set for May 14: Update your contact info
May 10, 2012
By Julia Ann Easley
AT A GLANCE
WHAT: WarnMe test
WHEN: Monday (May 14), starting just before noon
WHO: Employees and students on the Davis and Sacramento campuses, and at other university facilities
BE PREPARED: Visit the WarnMe website to ensure you are registered and your contact information is up to date, and for information on how to configure your computer's junk mail filters to ensure WarnMe messages make it to your inbox.
A test of the university’s WarnMe emergency alert system is scheduled for Monday (May 14), starting just before noon. The test alerts will go out to employees and students on the Davis and Sacramento campuses, and at other university facilities.
Officials urge faculty, staff and students to visit the WarnMe website to ensure they are registered and that their contact information is up to date: phone numbers and e-mail addresses (work and personal). Some people may need to configure their computers’ junk mail filters to ensure WarnMe messages make it to inboxes.
The campus used WarnMe most recently in sending three messages March 29 about a police operation in Orchard Park. Officers were searching for someone who had led the Yolo County sheriff’s deputies on a high-speed chase, then fled on foot. The WarnMe alerts advised people to call 911 to report suspicious activity.
Introduced in 2008, UC Davis WarnMe is part of the university’s comprehensive emergency management program and among the ways the university can alert students and employees to emergencies and provide important information.
Nick Crossley, manager of the emergency management and mission continuity program for the Davis campus, said the annual test checks the performance of the service, raises awareness about the service, and reminds students and employees to update their contact information.
Under the UC Davis test plan, a public safety dispatcher will direct the WarnMe service to send text messages to almost 80,000 work and personal e-mail addresses, nearly 25,000 SMS (short message service) devices and more than 900 pagers. In a real emergency, text and voice messages would be sent to cell phones; for the test, only text messages will go out.
The test messages will indicate that they are just that — test messages. The e-mail version will request a response and invite recipients to complete a seven-question survey by clicking on a Web address in the message.
The “from” line of the e-mail message will indicate that the message is from “UC Davis POLICE." Delivery of the message to all e-mail addresses is expected to be complete within 10 minutes and to SMS devices within six minutes, Crossley said.
In a real emergency, the messages would tell recipients the nature of the emergency, provide instructions and refer the recipients to a source for more information.
Make sure you get WarnMe messages
To make sure you get messages, you should add or update your contact information, via the WarnMe website.
WarnMe uses employees' work contact information (from the university's online directory), students' e-mail addresses, and personal contact information that students and employees provide voluntarily.
Although campus e-mail servers are set up so that WarnMe messages will not be tagged as spam and blocked, the e-mail software on individual computers may still label the messages as spam. For help in configuring your computer’s spam filters to let the WarnMe messages through, contact your departmental tech support or follow instructions specific to your e-mail software. Also, the IT Express Computing Services Help Desk is available to provide assistance at (530) 754-HELP (4357).
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