Texas Tech Launches New Emergency Alert System - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

10/10/07

Texas Tech Launches New Emergency Alert System

Six months after a student opened fire on the Virginia Tech campus, Texas Tech implements a new emergency alert notification system. NewsChannel 11 explains how the system works and who's eligible to receive the emergency alerts.

Thousands of Red Raiders received a message from Jon Whitmore, the President of Texas Tech, Wednesday morning.

Whitmore's recorded test message said, "We will use this fast notification system to delivery safety and emergency messaging to your phone numbers, e-mails and text message devices."

Freshman Alyssa Rustad signed up with Texas Tech to receive this alert, choosing to get a voice notification on her cell phone along with a text message.

"Just in case there's an emergency on campus you get to know right away and as soon as possible and it's a lot faster than it used to be through e-mail," Rustad said.

From phone calls to e-mails and text messages, over 30,000 Red Raiders received a message from Texas Tech's new alert system.

"The 34,496 is the total database we want to have and we reached 90 percent of those people even if they hadn't registered. We reached them through their e-mail or the number the university has on record for them," Margaret Lutherer, Executive Director of Tech's Office of Communications and Marketing.

Lutherer says 3,000 people were not reached due to either bad numbers or no answering machines. To solve that problem Tech is asking all Red Raiders to update their contact information with the university. Those eligible are any students, staff or faculty within the Texas Tech University system.

Lutherer said, "The phone numbers in this database will never, ever be used for anything other than emergency notification by the most official notification of Texas Tech University."

In President Whitmore's test message he says, "No spam or advertisement will be sent to you."

Only alerts warning the Texas Tech community of imminent severe weather or major emergencies like fires, or shootings like the one at Virginia Tech.

The emergency alert notification system is costing Texas Tech $80,000 this year.

To register your contact information, (click here).

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