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Media Contacts

Kirk White
Coordinator, Critical Incident Communications Team
krwhite@indiana.edu
812-855-6191

Larry MacIntyre
University Communications
lmacinty@indiana.edu
812-856-1172

Last modified: Wednesday, September 3, 2008

IU-Notify test to occur Friday

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Sept. 3, 2008

EDITOR'S NOTE: There will no longer be a campus cable TV override to test the IU-Notify system on Friday, Sept. 5. The cable TV override system is down for maintenance, and it will be tested at a later date. However, the test will still be conducted via text message, voice calls to office, local, home and/or cell phones, and university and external e-mail accounts.

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Indiana University Bloomington will conduct a test of the IU-Notify system around noon on Friday, Sept. 5.

The IU-Notify project was designed to consolidate IU's communications systems and it greatly enhances the university's ability to effectively transmit critical incident information. During the test, messages will be sent via text message, voice calls to office, local, home and/or cell phones, and university and external e-mail accounts. The test message will be sent to all IU Bloomington students, faculty and staff who have updated their information in OneStart.

"In the event of an emergency affecting Indiana University, the safety and well-being of our students, faculty and staff are of paramount importance," said Karen Hanson, provost of the Bloomington campus and executive vice president.

"On Friday, we will conduct a test of emergency communications systems now in place on the Bloomington campus," she continued. "We will activate test messages and distribute them by telephone calls, text messages, e-mails, and campus loud speakers, using contact information supplied to the university for this specific purpose by faculty, staff and students. The system depends upon cooperation from all of us to make sure contact information is accurate and up-to-date. I urge everyone who has not signed up for emergency notification to do so."

The test is in line with the requirements outlined in an amendment to the Clery Act, which President George W. Bush signed on Aug. 15, 2008. One requirement of the higher education act is that all emergency response and evacuation procedures be tested on an annual basis.

"Friday's test will be the first full scale use of IU-Notify at the Bloomington campus," said Kirk White, coordinator of the Critical Incident Communications Team at IU. "In addition to identifying any technical points that need to be resolved, the test will allow the campus community to become familiar with the notification system in advance of an actual critical incident."

The test will occur in conjunction with the monthly outdoor warning system test. Friday's test will be louder than in the past because two new sirens have been added to campus -- one on top of Foster Quad and the other on top of the Indiana Memorial Union. Another siren will be added this fall in the area of East 17th Street and North Jordan Avenue, for a total of six units on campus. At the end of the siren test, there will be a public address announcement notifying those on campus that an IU-Notify test occurred. There also will be a campus cable TV override informing subscribers that a test of the IU-Notify system has been engaged.

The system will be as effective as possible only if it can access accurate and current information. IU is urging students, faculty and staff at all IU campuses to immediately update personal contact information using a self-service tool easily accessible through OneStart. The information would be used for notification in the event of a critical incident on any IU campus.

By logging into the OneStart portal at https://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. Once you have updated and added additional contact information in OneStart, it will be available to IU-Notify, which is capable of reaching faculty, students and staff on all eight campuses via automated phone, text and/or e-mail messages.

IU's emergency notification system will be used to announce and provide guidance in an emergency or critical incident and to communicate relevant updates. IU or campus administration will activate the system 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.

This test follows the last fall's announcement that IU had selected the Connect-ED communication service by Blackboard Connect Inc. to provide a notification system that is capable of reaching faculty, students and staff on all eight campuses as soon as possible.

Anyone who receives a test message in error should e-mail prepare@indiana.edu and provide the phone number or e-mail address to be removed from the IU-Notify system.

Other communications systems in place to disseminate critical information include the emergency preparedness Web site http://www.indianauniversity.info. More information about IU's outdoor warning system can be found by visiting http://emergency.service.indiana.edu.