The Catholic University of America

Alert CUA - An Alert DC partner for emergency notifications

Alert DC - Emergency Notifications by SMS Text Message or Email

Overview

CUA is a registered institution to the “Alert DC” system. Students, faculty, staff, parents of students and friends of the university may sign up to receive urgent text messages to their cell phone, Blackberry or other mobile device. When critical alerts affecting our campus are broadcast by the “Alert DC” system, pre-registered recipients will receive a short text message to their mobile device. In order to be eligible to receive any messages, however, you must first sign up at https://textalert.ema.dc.gov/.

Benefits of Alert DC

The benefits of the Alert DC system include the following:

  • Capability of authorized CUA representatives to issue an emergency notification to the CUA community through the “Alert DC” system.
  • Capability of members of the CUA community to sign up for emergency messages that pertain specifically to Catholic University or to sign up for additional messages (e.g., severe weather, traffic conditions, emergencies in the Brookland neighborhood, etc.)
  • Assurance that the information being transmitted is coming from a highly reliable source

How it Works
The Catholic University of America is one of a number of area universities that have opted to register as an institution with the “Alert DC” system. When critical alerts affecting our campus are broadcast by the “Alert DC” system, pre-registered recipients will receive a short text message to their mobile device. Several CUA administrators have authority to request that messages be sent through the alert system. These requests will quickly be approved by DC Emergency Management personnel, who also have instant access to law enforcement and homeland security information that they can disseminate, as needed.

Anyone can sign up to receive emergency notifications affecting CUA, even if you do not live in the DC area. To register, please visit the Alert DC homepage and create an account (click the New User link in the last paragraph). After selecting CUA and other communities/neighborhoods, you may also select the level of alerts that you wish to receive.

When is it Used?
The “Alert DC” system will only be used by authorized CUA administrators to transmit short, truly urgent messages that affect the entire campus community (not, for example, snow closings). An emergency message from the CUA administration might include a shelter-in-place message or an evacuation alert. Note that the DC government also uses this system to notify the public of government office closings, severe weather conditions, and traffic conditions.

The “Alert DC” system represents an important enhancement to CUA’s emergency notification system. Depending on the level and type of emergency, it will be used with one or more of the following communication options already in place at the university:

  • Fire alarms
  • Audible public announcements broadcast via public safety vehicles
  • E-mail and list serves
  • CUA Web pages
  • Phone messages
  • Building safety captains