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FAQ

Q: What is the UNC Emergency Alert?

A: The UNC Emergency Alert is a multi-layered approach for communicating campus emergencies. It allows the university to simultaneously issue campus alerts by voice, e-mail and text messages during an emergency. It supplements the university’s existing Web, electronic and telephone emergency communications.

Q: When will alerts be sent?

A: For emergencies only. Brief messages would include basic information and direct recipients to the university’s emergency website  at http://emergency.unco.edu for more information. Examples of when alerts would be issued include, but aren’t limited to:

  • An imminent threat involving UNC Police or other public safety authorities
  • Tornado warnings and other severe weather
  • Campus and building closures, and utility outages
  • To test of the system at the beginning of fall and spring semester and the summer session.

Q: How will I be notified?

A: By phone to emergency contact numbers provided by faculty, staff and students using prerecorded messages and voice-to-voice communication, campus e-mail accounts (unco.edu for faculty/staff and bears.unco.edu for students) and text messages to text-enabled devices such as cell phones.

Q: If there is an emergency situation, how long will it take to receive the message?

A: In the event of an emergency, messages will be sent simultaneously through voice, e-mail and text messaging. There are several factors that determine the time of delivery. For example, if there are utility outages or high call volumes, messages can be delayed. The intent is to reach campus through at least one of the paths (voice, e-mail or text).

Q: Who sends the ALERT MESSAGES? What’s displayed in the sender line?

A: UNC Police sends the messages with the following sender line information:

  • An imminent threat involving UNC Police or other public safety authorities
  • Tornado warnings and other severe weather
  • Campus and building closures, and utility outages
  • Text messages: 23177 or 63079 - Please program the numbers in your cell phone contacts under “UNC Emergency Alert.”
  • Voice deliveries: 970-351-4101 - Please save this phone number to your mobile device as “UNC Emergency Alerts.”
  • Emails: UNCEmergencyAlert@unco.edu  - Please add this email address to your safe senders list.

Q: How do I sign up?

A: Students can sign up by entering the number for their text-capable cell phone when prompted during the Ursa and BearMail account activation process, or by logging in to Ursa (http://ursa.unco.edu), clicking on the Student tab and entering the number for their text-capable cell phone in the UNC Emergency Alert box.
Faculty and staff should log on to Ursa, click the Employee tab and complete the fields in the UNC Emergency Alert box.

Q: How will I receive confirmation?

A: The Emergency Alert system will send you an acknowledgement of your status after you sign up (T-Mobile customers will need to respond to the message to subscribe to UNC Emergency Alert.) The confirmation will say: “UNC Emergency Alert:You are set to receive txt alerts per acct settings. For more info reply “HELP”. To opt out reply “STOP UNCO”Msg&data rates may apply.”

 If you don't receive a confirmation, you can go to Ursa and verify your registration under the Student tab for students or Employee tab for faculty and staff.

Q: What’s the cost to me?

A: The service is free. Cell phone providers may charge a text-messaging fee.

Q: What if I inadvertently reply "Stop UNCO" after receiving a text message?

A: Send a text message to 23177 or 63079 with "subscribe UNCO" in the message to sign back up. 

Q: HOW DO I OPT-OUT?

A: You may opt-out at any time by texting “STOP UNCO” or “QUIT UNCO" to 23177 or 63079.
Q: WHAT IF I OPTED-OUT BUT LATER DECIDE I WOULD LIKE TO OPT IN AGAIN?
A: You may opt in to receive text messages by texting “SUBSCRIBE UNCO" to 23177 or 63079.

Q: If my cell phone number changes, how do I update my contact information?

A: Students should log on to Ursa and click on Student tab to edit their contact information in the UNC Emergency Alert box. Faculty and staff can go to Ursa, click the Employee tab and change their information in the Emergency Alert box.

Q: What if my cell phone provider changes?

A: As long as your phone number doesn’t change, you don’t have to do anything.

Q: I’M RECEIVING UNC EMERGENCY ALERTS IN ERROR AND HAVE NO AFFILIATION WITH THE UNIVERSITY. HOW DO I OPT OUT?

A: Please contact us at 970-351-4357 or technical.support@unco.edu to have your contact information removed from the database.

Q: How many campuses use this service?

A: The service, called Connect-Ed and offered by Blackboard Connect, is being used by more than 150 campuses, including Georgia Tech, Princeton and the University of Oklahoma.

Q: How will my information be used?

A: Solely for the purpose of contacting you during a campus emergency. It will not be shared for any other purpose.

Q: What if I don’t provide my cell phone number?

A: You can still receive alerts through e-mail and by phone by providing emergency contact information. Log in to Ursa to make sure your contact information is current.

Q: WHY SHOULD I VERIFY MY CAMPUS DIRECTORY PHONE NUMBER AND DIRECT OFFICE PHONE NUMBER?

A: Verifying those numbers will facilitate communication with you in the event of a known emergency situation on or off campus that impacts only you. An example would be an emergency involving one of your family members and the only information available about who to contact is that you’re a UNC employee.

Q: If I’m a parent, can I receive the alerts?

A: The system is designed for notifying campus only. The UNC web site, would carry identical information during an emergency.

Q: Where can I send feedback?

A: Send an e-mail with your comments to alert.feedback@unco.edu