Emergency notification system to be tested Feb. 8

Don’t be alarmed, but be prepared when Rice’s crisis management team tests the university’s emergency notification system.

The test is scheduled for Friday, Feb. 8, at about 12:15 p.m.

alertTo get ready for the test, Jerusha Kasch, director of institutional crisis management, asks everyone in the Rice community to update the information in their Esther accounts so that it can be incorporated into the database used to send out the alerts. The notifications will come via Rice Alert, a part of the Everbridge system, which Rice implemented in 2017.

Rice Alert uses several forms of communication, including the Everbridge smartphone app, SMS text messaging, email and a campuswide network of outdoor speakers that allow the Rice University Police Department to broadcast audible messages outdoors.

The outdoor warning system is not intended to be heard inside buildings. The preferred method of contact indoors or outdoors is via the Everbridge app.

If you prefer receiving text message alerts, login to Esther and designate a cell phone number for Rice Alert. If you sign up for text alerts, you will receive timely messages via SMS text from Rice’s emergency notification phone number (713-348-8888) or the SMS short code, 89361. The Rice Crisis Management Team recommends you add that phone number and SMS short code to your cellphone contacts under the name “Rice Alert” so you will immediately recognize the messages.

Directions for updating emergency notification information in Esther and for downloading the Everbridge app can be found on Rice’s KnowledgeBase website. Anyone with questions, Kasch says, should feel free email her at jkasch@rice.edu.

You can update that information any time of the year, but any changes made after close of business Feb. 7 will not take effect in time for the test the following day.  So Kasch urges everyone to enter their updated information before then.

If you do not receive the test message Feb. 8, and you signed up through Esther and/or you downloaded the Everbridge app, the Crisis Management Team asks you to email cmtcomment@rice.edu. Please include your name, cellphone number and the name of your cellphone service provider so they can investigate and help you receive Rice alerts.


About Doug Miller

Doug Miller is director of news and media relations in Rice University's Office of Public Affairs.