Emergency notification system to be tested Sept. 21

Rice’s Crisis Management Team will conduct a test of the university’s emergency notification system at about 12:15 p.m. Sept. 21.

The notifications will come via Rice Alert, a part of the Everbridge system, which Rice implemented in January.

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In preparation for the Sept. 21 test, Jerusha Kasch, director of institutional crisis management, asked the Rice community to update information in their Esther account by Sept. 19 so that it can be incorporated into the database that will be used for the test.

Rice Alerts that are texted to cellphones will come from Rice’s special emergency notification phone number (713-348-8888) or the new SMS short code, 89361. “I recommend that you add that phone number or SMS short code to your cellphone contacts under the name ‘Rice Alert’ so you will be able to recognize messages from the Rice Crisis Management Team,” Kasch said.

The Sept. 21 test will also include announcements over outdoor speakers that have been installed across campus to enable the Crisis Management Department to broadcast messages outside during an emergency. The outdoor warning system is not intended to be heard inside buildings.

Students, faculty and staff who update their Esther account but don’t receive the test message Sept. 21 should send an email to cmtcomment@rice.edu that states their name, cellphone number and the name of their cellphone service provider so the university can investigate why the communication didn’t reach them.

Directions for updating emergency notification information in Esther and for downloading the Everbridge app (not required to receive notifications) can be found on Rice’s KnowledgeBase website. Questions can be sent to Kasch at jkasch@rice.edu.

About Arie Passwaters

Arie Wilson Passwaters is a Web editor in Rice University's Office of Public Affairs.