University Introduces ‘Mason Alert,’ New Emergency Alert System

Posted: August 23, 2007 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

By Daniel Walsch and Catherine Probst

Mason is introducing a new information system designed to give students, faculty and staff immediate access to emergency announcements, notifications and updates during times of a major campus or area crisis.

Called “Mason Alert,” this new university-wide emergency alert system is the result of a partnership with Roam Secure, a regionally based company that specializes in emergency text alerting and information sharing. Interested persons can register for this service now at alert.gmu.edu or by texting the keyword “Mason” to 411911 on their cell phone.

Once registered, individuals will be able to receive messages at their e-mail addresses or on their cell phones, text pagers, BlackBerrys or wireless PDAs. The messages can cover a range of topics, including security or safety threats, evacuations, weather-related announcements, transportation notices, IT outages, site/building closures and delayed or early closings. Those registering for the service will automatically receive all university-wide emergency notifications, but will be able to choose which other alerts they want to receive.

“This is a very important step in Mason’s effort to enhance its ability to communicate with the entire campus with greater speed and efficiency,” says Thomas Hennessey, chief of staff. “It is our hope that as many members of our internal community as possible take advantage of this new service.”

Hennessey and Keith Bushey, Mason’s chief safety officer, are overseeing a comprehensive effort to introduce Mason Alert to all segments of the university community.

“We want everyone to realize that Mason Alert will not replace any systems currently in place,” notes Bushey. “Even if people already subscribe to other emergency notification systems, Mason Alert will enhance what they already have by focusing, in large measure, on what is going on at any of our campuses.”

For more information on Mason Alert, visit the web site.

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