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Emergency Mass Notification: AlertSU

The purpose of the project

The Emergency Mass Notification system will implement a layered communications strategy for contacting Stanford students, faculty, and staff in an emergency such as an active shooter or hostage situation; a bomb or other threat to buildings; a large or quickly moving fire; etc. The approach consists of two components: a Mass Notification Service and a Siren Alert System. These are key elements in the overall security and emergency response strategy for the Stanford community.

How it works

In the event of a major emergency affecting the Stanford campus, Stanford faculty, staff, and students will automatically receive an emergency communication on the phone numbers they registered in the Stanford directory via StanfordYou or Axess. An email notification will also be sent to their Stanford email account and any alternative account they may have listed. The message will include instructions on where to get further information.

The need to activate the mass notification system will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis, and will be used in conjunction with other emergency resources already in place, such as the emergency web site ( and the hotlines for emergency information at 725-5555 and 1-800-89SHAKE.

About the system

The selected vendor is NTI Group, and the product is ConnectED. This service provides a mechanism for fast contact of the Stanford community through a variety of concurrent mechanisms including voice, email, and SMS (text message). A Siren Alert System consisting of seven siren/voice towers will be deployed across the campus and be capable of emitting both a siren/blare notification as well as a verbal message.

Preliminary testing

On Friday, March 21, 2008, an initial test was performed that targeted the staff of IT Services, EH&S, and the Department of Public Safety. Faculty and staff can update their own listings in StanfordYou ( and students can update their information in Axess ( Some findings from the test include:

  • Need to pull data from two sources rather than one (PeopleSoft for Students, People Registry for Faculty & Staff)
  • Some partial messages were received (the canned AlertSU message started before the outgoing voicemail message was finished)

Test dates

Friday, March 21, 2008: IT Services Staff, EH&S, and Department of Public Safety

May 2008 (Exact Date TBD): Campus Wide

Ongoing Tests: October and March—Annually


Last modified Friday, 07-Nov-2008 10:05:39 AM

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