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Jill Harris

Photo courtesy of: Emergency Programs

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Emergency communication systems to be tested Friday

New Alertus software will send pop-up alert to computers


Ohio University's Athens campus will test several of its emergency communication systems around noon on Friday, Sept. 5.

The University will test emergency communication through text messaging, outdoor notification system, CATVision, email and a new emergency notification tool, Alertus Desktop.

The new mass notification system, Alertus, which is currently in the pilot project stage at the University, sends a pop-up full screen alert message to all computers in centrally scheduled classrooms.

When the message pops up on the computer, the recipient must click the "Acknowledge" button to disable it. The University will then analyze those statistics to determine the effectiveness of Alertus.  

"We recognized in the past that reaching students and professors in classrooms has been difficult, so this Alertus software will improve our chances of accomplishing this task during an emergency situation," said Jill Harris, Ohio University emergency programs manager.

Like all of the university's emergency communication tools, the systems are tested periodically to ensure they are working properly and to help familiarize the campus community with how they will operate in an emergency.

During the outdoor notification system test, the system will broadcast a tone, followed by a pre-recorded test message over speakers located at various points on campus. The system is designed to notify people who are outdoors at the time of an emergency and is not intended to inform those who are indoors.

For more information or to sign up for emergency notifications, visit www.ohio.edu/alert.

Sign up for the Ohio University Emergency Notification System – OHIO Alert


Federal law requires Ohio University and other institutions of higher learning to establish and maintain an emergency warning and notification plan. At Ohio University this plan is commonly referred to as OHIO Alert.

OHIO Alert uses a variety of channels (text messaging, email, outdoor sirens, phone calls, CATVision, etc.) to provide timely notification to all students, faculty, staff, and visitors on the Ohio University Athens Campus of emergencies that require immediate action to reduce the threat of injury or loss of life.

In the event of a critical incident or emergency situation, the University community will be notified by the appropriate emergency notification system. The emergency notification may be informational or it may have specific action steps for you to take.

To ensure that you receive important alerts during an emergency situation on or near campus, please make sure that you register or update your personal information at www.ohio.edu/alert.

There are separate links at the bottom of the page for Faculty/Staff and Students.