Last updated Feb. 23, 2012
VT Alerts is Virginia Tech's Emergency Notification System. In a campus emergency, Virginia Tech will use several information delivery methods to reach you because, at any given time, one form of communications might be better to reach you than another. VT Alerts will deliver messages using some or all of the following channels:
* Virginia Tech students, staff, and faculty may receive VT Phone Alerts messages and university (vt.edu) e-mail notification specifically targeted to university facilities in six key regions across Virginia – National Capital Region, Abingdon, Danville, Hampton Roads, Richmond, and Roanoke – as well as the Blacksburg campus. All other elements of VT Alerts will only be used for emergency messages intended for the Blacksburg community.
Messages will be sent by Virginia Tech Police, Emergency Management, or University Relations, depending on the nature of the urgent situation.
VT Alerts will be activated:
*VT Phone Alerts will be used in those instances where severe weather impacts class schedule and the opening of closing of the Blacksburg campus only. It will not be used for inclement weather announcements affecting the other six regions.
Please note: During a situation when VT Alerts recipients are instructed to stay where they are, Blacksburg Transit (BT) will be suspended to minimize traffic to campus. Scenarios in which recipients would be advised to “shelter in place” include tornado warnings or other instances when people on campus are advised to seek shelter or, if already indoors, should stay in their current location.
You will receive emergency notifications for the Blacksburg region through all delivery methods except for VT Phone Alerts and VT Desktop Alerts without taking any action.
VT Phone Alerts is a subscriber-only feature of VT Alerts that allows you to receive urgent notifications where and how you want, even if you're away from your computer or university phone.
VT Phone Alerts allows you to list up to three contact methods. You must subscribe to VT Phone Alerts to receive emergency notifications through this method. You must have a Virginia Tech PID and be an active faculty, staff or student to subscribe.
You need your Virginia Tech PID and password to get started. Once you decide to subscribe, you will be guided step-by-step through the subscription process. You can log back into the system anytime to change or add contact information.
Parents who want to receive notifications from VT Phone Alerts should talk with their student about adding their number as a point of contact. Parents — or anyone — can download VT Desktop Alerts to run on a desktop, laptop, or netbook computer that is connected to the Internet.
In addition to choosing contact methods, you can also select up to three regions for VT Phone Alerts. After you login, the Region(s) area will show the location(s) where you are currently subscribed to receive alerts. To change or add a location, click the (Change) link and select a different region. You can choose up to three regions.
VT Desktop Alerts sends a notice to your desktop or laptop computer, wherever you are as long as you are connected to the Internet. You do not need to be on the campus. However, to activate this feature of VT Alerts you must download the VT Desktop Alerts application to your computer from this page. VT Desktop Alerts is used only for Blacksburg campus alerts.
The message sender will appear as follows:
Here are some likely reasons:
Please note: VT Phone Alerts is intended to communicate urgent information to students, faculty, and staff on campus during an emergency. For that reason, it is very important that you carefully consider your points of contact. If you have included parents, spouses, or others among your points of contact, we strongly suggest listing yourself as the first point of contact. To review your account, sign in.
Each method of contact (text message, e-mail, and/or phone) uses different technology to distribute an alert. While the system is very robust, it also has limitations that affect the delivery process. Through testing and prior alert distributions, university officials have determined that confirming a text or e-mail message may not prevent an attempted contact via telephone if that method has been chosen.
The VT Phone Alerts system attempts to deliver messages according to the subscriber’s preferences. Because of technical limitations, however, text messages generally may be delivered with, or even prior to, a telephone contact, regardless of the chosen order.
Though receipt confirmation is not required, it is desirable for you to do so. By confirming receipt, you allow the system to more efficiently and expeditiously reach all VT Phone Alerts subscribers, which will save valuable time during an emergency situation.
When you confirm receipt of an e-mail, the acknowledgement page will look like this:
The information provided will be used only for emergency notifications.
Yes, VT Alerts uses multiple channels to deliver urgent information. You should expect to receive duplicate messages. For example, if you are in a classroom in Blacksburg, you can expect to see a notification on the electronic message board, as well as those methods selected in your VT Phone Alerts account. This redundancy is intentional to ensure important information reaches as many people as possible in the shortest amount of time.
Yes, the university will test all emergency notification channels of VT Alerts at least once each fall and spring semester. The university community will be informed when each test is scheduled.
When testing VT Alerts, Virginia Tech administrators will always include in the subject line or in the message a clear statement that the message is a test. Urgent messages will carry subject lines such as "Emergency Alert," "Weather Alert," or "Campus Advisory."
Depending on the type of emergency, Virginia Tech may or may not send messages according to the preference ranking indicated in your account.
All students who are graduating or who otherwise will no longer be a Virginia Tech student are asked to unsubscribe to VT Phone Alerts. By unsubscribing, you will help the system deliver messages to those who truly need to receive information when messages are sent.
Accounts will be deactivated if a student has not registered for classes after any four continuous semesters (e.g., fall, spring, summer session one, and summer session two). Any student can activate or reactivate an account upon registering for classes in any semester. Accounts will be immediately deactivated if it has been determined (after due process) that you have intentionally abused or harmed the system.
You will be notified when your subscription is deactivated. When you access VT Phone Alerts, you will be provided with the current status of your subscription.
Since this will be a means to notify you in an emergency situation, we strongly recommend that you provide contact information for YOU, the subscriber. Consider using methods of contact that you check frequently. If you are a Virginia Tech employee, you may want to add your office phone number as one of the contact methods.
To change your notification preferences at any time, log in to https://subscribe.alerts.vt.edu. You can change the type of contacts (text, phone, or non Virginia Tech e-mail) and notification preferences. To unsubscribe completely from receiving VT Phone Alerts, choose the "Unsubscribe from VT Alerts" link on the page.
If you are in a region other than Blacksburg, and choose not to subscribe to VT Phone Alerts, you will likely receive no emergency notification information. For that reason, you are strongly encouraged to sign up for VT Phone Alerts and select those regions relevant to you.
You are responsible for making all updates or changes to your contact information. Virginia Tech does not update your information from other sources. Individual subscribers MUST update their contact information from either My VT (www.my.vt.edu) or the VT Alerts website (www.alerts.vt.edu). It is especially important to change your contact information when you change cell phone carriers or if you change your phone number.
No. Virginia Tech will not verify the accuracy of the data you enter. If you enter inaccurate contact data, the data will remain inaccurate until it is changed by you.
No. The contact data you provide will not be used to update any other Virginia Tech systems.
The contact data you enter will be provided to a third-party vendor for purposes of notifying you in the event of an emergency. No identifying information (such as your name, etc.) will be provided to the third-party vendor.
The third-party vendor has agreed that it has no right to use your contact information for any purpose other than notifying you via VT Alerts. The vendor does not have rights to sell, disclose, or trade your contact information. When required by law (e.g., in compliance with a subpoena or court order) your contact information may be disclosed.
Only the individuals employed by Virginia Tech who must use this information to administer and manage VT Alerts will have access to your contact information.
VT Alerts is free to all students, faculty, and staff. Virginia Tech will not charge the subscriber a fee. Whether you are charged for text messages received through VT Phone Alerts will depend on the terms of your contract with your service provider.
Signing up for VT Phone Alerts is quick and easy. Just sign in to the system and follow the instructions on the screen.
Download VT Desktop Alerts to your Mac or PC.