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Last modified: Wednesday, November 7, 2007

'IU-Notify' project enhanced for emergency notifications

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Nov. 7, 2007

Emergency Preparedness

As part of its IU-Notify project, Indiana University has launched a new, self-service tool that enables IU faculty, staff and students on all campuses to enter, update and store phone numbers and e-mail addresses in order to receive automated notification of a campus emergency.

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Indiana University is urging students, faculty and staff at all IU campuses to immediately update personal contact information using a new, self-service tool easily accessible through OneStart. The information would be used for notification in the event of an emergency on any IU campus.

By logging into the OneStart portal at http://www.onestart.iu.edu, choosing the notifications tab and following the provided links, IU students, faculty and staff can update, whenever necessary, contact information including office, home and personal cell phone numbers, as well as non-IU e-mail addresses. The information will be added to IU's Student Information System and also to its Human Resources databases. There, it can be accessed by Connect-ED, the university's new notification system, which is capable of reaching faculty, students and staff on all eight campuses via automated phone and/or e-mail messages.

The system, however, will be as effective as possible only if it can access accurate and current information.

"I hope all Indiana University faculty, staff and students will take advantage of our notification system," said IU President Michael A. McRobbie. "This system will give us a new level of safety and security on all our campuses by enabling us to quickly pass emergency information to a targeted audience. The more people who sign up, the more effective the system will be."

The self-service update tool, which became available Nov. 1, and Connect-ED are part of the larger "IU-Notify" project designed to consolidate the university's communications systems and greatly enhance its ability to effectively transmit emergency information.

Other communications systems in place to disseminate critical information include the newly launched emergency preparedness Web site http://www.indianauniversity.info, news releases to media, messages on campus cable TV, electronic mail, campus emergency status hotlines, podcasts, outdoor warning sirens and public address equipment, and individual building emergency control committees.

The university plans a broad communications and awareness campaign to strongly encourage all students, faculty and staff to update their contact information.

"The university strives to provide timely, reliable notifications by all available means in the event of emergency," said Mark Bruhn, associate vice president for information and infrastructure assurance. "As of Nov. 1, with the contact data we currently have available, we are able to initiate an emergency broadcast for any IU campus through our new notification service. The new, self-service tool in OneStart, however, is critical to enhancing our ability to reach members of the university community quickly, at the phones and e-mail addresses that are actually most effective for each individual."

IUs new emergency communications system permits broadcast messages to be quickly sent as voice calls to office, local home and/or cell phones, and university and external e-mail accounts. The system will be used to announce and provide guidance in an emergency or crisis and to communicate relevant critical updates. Text message capabilities are anticipated in the near future.

IU or campus administration will declare an emergency based on the circumstances of a particular situation. Generally an emergency is any incident that involves death, serious injury, or threat of death or serious injury to people; significant damage to university facilities, property and or data; or significant disruption of university operations.

These developments follow the Sept. 26 announcement that IU had selected the Connect-ED communication service by the NTI Group Inc. to provide a notification system that will be capable of reaching faculty, students and staff on all eight campuses within minutes.