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VT Alerts is used to communicate critical information with the Virginia Tech community in the event of an emergency on or near Virginia Tech campus locations. VT Alerts are issued when there is a need for community members to take immediate protective action from a threat to the safety or health of the university community; during significant changes to university operations; or during system-wide testing in the fall and spring semesters.

When a VT Alert is sent out, information is distributed to the community by multiple channels, including text messaging, phone calls, emails, the Virginia Tech website, the Virginia Tech status page, and social media updates. In addition, on the Blacksburg campus, fire alarm annunciators, electronic message boards, emails to addresses, Desktop Alerts, and outdoor sirens are used.

Subscribe to VT Alerts

Virginia Tech strongly recommends that all students and employees sign up to receive VT Alerts via a variety of communication channels and double-check their contact information annually. All those with a Virginia Tech PID are automatically enrolled to receive VT Alerts via their email.

In addition to Blacksburg, VT Alert regions include: Abingdon, Danville, Hampton Roads, Richmond, and Roanoke, and the Greater DC Metro Area. 

When VT Alerts are issued:

  • When there is a need for community members to take immediate protective action in the event of a significant danger to the safety or health of the university community (e.g. severe weather, explosion, hazardous materials spill or leak, building structural damage, or active police response)
  • During significant changes to university operations 
  • During system-wide testing in the fall and spring semesters
VT Alert illustration

When VT Alerts are not issued:

Virginia Tech may delay or not send an emergency notification in the rare event this information would compromise the ability of first responders and emergency officials to manage the incident.

VT Alerts are different from Crime Alerts and Situational Awareness emails. To learn more about these, visit the Virginia Tech Police Department's website 

When the VT Alert system is activated, individuals subscribed to text messages will receive automated notifications from the VT Alert service. These messages will be sent from any of the following numbers: 67283, 77295, 78015, or 226787. These numbers represent the short codes used by a third-party SMS system for efficient mass notifications. The message will arrive from one of these four possible numbers.

When the VT Alert system is activated, phone subscribers will receive an automated phone call with the VT Alert information.

Those with a Virginia Tech PID will automatically receive VT Alerts via their email. Hokie parents, families, and loved ones, along with campus visitors, and campus vendors and contactors, can subscribe to receive VT Alerts by email.

Emails can take longer to receive. The use of multiple channels helps to receive critical information more quickly.

When a situation arises in which the university determines that immediate action is required, a campus-wide VT Alert is issued and those alerts are posted to Twitter @vtalerts.

Emergency messages will be broadcast to the Virginia Tech homepage at the affected campus location(s). 

In the event a VT Alert is issued on campus, the Virginia Tech status page will be updated frequently with instructions and information about the incident, campus services and resources available to the campus community.

Classrooms and common spaces on the Blacksburg campus have electric message boards. When an important message is posted to the boards, a brief audible tone will be heard to alert those in the classroom that a message will appear. When not in use, the message boards display the current date and time.

The Virginia Tech Police Department will activate Virginia Tech's Early Warning Siren System if events occur that potentially endanger people who are outdoors. The system sounds like an ultra-loud, long-lasting, deeper-sounding police or rescue-squad siren. The system will be audible throughout the campus and in areas immediately adjacent to campus. It will sound full power for three minutes and will be repeated as necessary.

The siren system will be activated if a warning has been issued that affects the local area and where people need to seek immediate shelter indoors to remove themselves from the hazardous condition. A warning means that an emergency situation has been verified on or in the vicinity of campus.

When the siren sounds, individuals should immediately go inside and consult a source of information such as a radio, television news, or the Virginia Tech homepage or social media channels for further information.

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