As part of an effort to improve communication and security on campus, Coastal Carolina University has launched "CCU Alert," a new notification system that enables the university to send urgent news to mobile phones. Once a student, faculty or staff member signs up for the service, the university can text their mobile phone with timely information about emergencies.
The service is available to all current students, faculty and staff of at no charge. However, depending on an individual's personal mobile phone plan, there may be a nominal fee from the carrier to receive text messages.
CCU Alert will be used to notify subscribers of (1) inclement weather requiring a change in the class schedule or closing of the campus and (2) any incident posing an imminent threat to the health and safety of the university community.
The new system, powered by e2Campus, enables school officials to send instant alerts directly to registered subscribers' e-mail accounts and mobile phones via SMS text messages. Users can also receive the alerts via RSS, wireless PDA, "My Yahoo," "My AOL" or on a personalized iGoogle home page.
"When a student, faculty or staff member signs up, the alerts go directly to their mobile phones the minute the news happens," explains Greg Weisner, CCU's chief of public safety. "It's a convenient system for everyone, because it reaches people whether they are on campus or off campus. We know how students in particular utilize their mobile phones, so now we can reach
them with important information that may end up saving their lives."
In addition, a new Web site has been established as a source of information related to emergency preparedness. The Online Emergency Information Center http://www.coastal.edu/emergency includes the methods the institution will use to communicate in the event of an emergency or crisis. In addition, the site includes specific responses to types of emergencies, links to local and national resources, evacuation procedure and other pertinent information.