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Frequently Asked Questions

What is Eastern Alert?

The Connecticut State Colleges and Universities Board of Regents has purchased an emergency notification system which utilizes an off-site service (Everbridge) to provide quick distribution of time-sensitive emergency messages to multiple devices selected by the subscriber (i.e. text messages, email, phone call, etc.). Eastern's emergency notification system is called Eastern Alert.

What types of emergencies are covered?

Eastern Alert is intended for use in the case of major university-wide emergencies. These might include a major fire; a hazardous material spill; a major weather incident (i.e. tornado, hurricane); a campus safety issue; a campus closing due to severe winter weather; and other events that impact the entire campus. More contained situations (i.e. kitchen fire in one dormitory) would be handled in other ways and students, faculty, and staff would be contacted using communications systems other than Eastern Alert, such as our campus email or public address systems.

How do I sign up?

You will automatically be enrolled to receive the Eastern Alerts with your Eastern email address.

What types of devices can I sign up for?

Cell phone; SMS text; land lines (home phones, off-campus business phones); TTY and e-mail addresses. It should be stressed that the Eastern Alert system is set up to notify the people who routinely live, work, and/or study on the Eastern campus. Sending a message to your home phone in Glastonbury or Chicago will not help us to notify you on campus, so you should consider what devices are accessible to you while you are here.

What are the costs?

While subscribing to the service is free of charge, any charges currently associated with your cell phone or other telecommunication service that you subscribe to will be applicable (i.e., when receiving text messages from the Eastern Alert system). If you are charged for incoming text or voice messages, those charges would apply and be levied by your service provider. By subscribing to the Eastern Alert service, you are acknowledging that you are responsible for any such charges that are incurred.

Will my parents be notified?

Eastern Alert is a closed system, with enrollment available only to students, faculty, staff and contractors with an ongoing relationship with the University, e.g. Food Service personnel, Bookstore, etc. If you would like your parents, guardians or other family members to receive Eastern Alerts, you can enter their contact numbers in your Eastern Alert profile via Everbridge.

Is my privacy compromised?

No. The system uses Everbridge, a third-party, proprietary, off-site vendor. No personal data other than the contact information that you provide is gathered (i.e., cell phone number or e-mail). In addition, Everbridge does not have rights to sell, disclose, or trade your contact information. Only the University employees who administer the system will also have access to your contact information. No other access will be allowed except as may be required by law.

How will I know when a message is from the Eastern Alert system?

E-mails, voice messages, and text messages will indicate, "EASTERN ALERT…" followed by an event-specific message, i.e. weather closing, hazmat alert, etc. The phone number on incoming messages to your cell phone will be (860) 465-4444.

Can I have my cell phone on now in class?

The Eastern Alert system will be set up to send emergency messages to the land line phone in every classroom on campus. Rules regarding cell phone use in class are at the discretion of the faculty.

Does this make me safe?

No emergency notification system can guarantee your safety. The Eastern Alert system is a communication tool. The intent is to use it to provide quick notification of emergency situations to everyone who signs up for the system.

What else does Eastern have in place to ensure campus safety?

The Eastern Alert system is one of a number of safety procedures, communications tools, and other technologies the University has in place as part of its overall incident response plan. In addition to a trained police force/first response team, our resident assistants all receive safety training in such issues as fire prevention, evacuation procedures, and who to notify in case of emergencies. In addition to Everbridge services, Eastern communications includes all-campus emails, an emergency website, public address systems, and other communications strategies.

What types of messages can I expect to see?

Messages will be short. Sample messages include:

  • Eastern Alert. A campus wide lockdown has been issued. Secure all exterior doors and seek shelter immediately.
  • Eastern Alert. Evacuate (University location) immediately.
  • Eastern Alert. Eastern is closed today, (date). Essential personnel should report as normal.

Can I change my contact preferences? Does the University correct my contact information or must I do that?

Faculty, Staff and Students will automatically be enrolled with your Eastern email address. It is up to you to enter and update your preferred choice of delivery methods to receive alerts. The University will not do that for you. You can edit your delivery methods at any time by logging into the Everbridge member portal and clicking the My Profile (Edit) then update your Contact Information.

Will the University test the system? If so, when will I know that?

The University will conduct periodic tests of the Eastern Alert System. In some cases, subscribers are notified in advance of emergency tests and drills, and test messages will be identified as such.

How can I deactivate my subscription?

Please Note: You cannot remove your Eastern email address, but you can remove any other contact information that you added including phone numbers. When you are no longer affiliated with the University your account will be off-boarded.

Do you have instructions to assist me in managing my Eastern Alert preferences?

Yes. You can manage your Eastern Alert Account.

Who can I contact for more information?

E-mail or call the Office of University Relations at (860) 465-5735.