StanAlert: Get the Message and Stay Safe

If a crisis happens at CSU Stanislaus, the Office of Communications and Public Affairs will use the university's website and Facebook and Twitter pages to relay timely information.

But more important to those on campus will be StanAlert, which uses email, text messaging and voice calls to notify the campus about the status of an emergency and safety actions recommended by police and other responders.

"In an emergency, vital information and updates will be sent to the campus community through StanAlert," said Steven Jaureguy, the university's police chief. "The ability to receive timely information during an emergency is critical in order to know what's happening and how it will affect you."

For that reason, Jaureguy said, it's critical that all members of the campus community visit the StanAlert website and ensure their personal information is correct and up-to-date. The information will only be used to send notifications in an emergency, or occasionally for tests to ensure the system is working properly.

Text message alerts might be the most effective means of emergency communications, because they can be read quickly and easily. To ensure you receive text messages, you must input your number in the "text/SMS" field on the website. Numbers in the "mobile phone" field will receive only voice calls.

Email can be an effective way to get timely notifications, but only if you're checking your email when an incident occurs or if you have push notifications on your smart phone or other device. Phone calls, especially to mobile phones, are more likely to get your attention immediately, but people often ignore or screen calls from unfamiliar numbers. That's not as common with text messages.

"We want as many people as possible to get the message quickly, and then to relay it to others nearby," said Dave Tonelli, associate vice president for communications and public affairs. "We encourage everyone to input all of their contact information into the system. The risk of missing a key message is too great to ignore."

Visit the StanAlert site today to ensure your information is current and correct, and don't forget to update phone numbers when they change.