CCU Alert FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

What exactly is CCU Alert?
CCU Alert is a notification system that allows designated administrators to send time-sensitive messages to campus message boards and the mobile phones and email of their subscribers (students, faculty and staff).

Under what circumstances will CCU officials send a CCU Alert?
CCU Alert will be initiated to notify subscribers of an impending or actual situation in which actions are required for the health and safety of the campus community. Circumstances would include: an imminent threat from a hazard or an incident on campus and/or proximate areas. The short text message will instruct subscribers to take action or communicate action taken by the University to safeguard the campus community.

What does "avoid the area" mean?
This statement is traditionally used when the situation requires the use of a perimeter to provide local first responders access to the incident location with the required resources. When there are multiple public safety agencies on campus, it is natural to be curious of the situation. However, congregating around the perimeter could further complicate the situation, inhibit first responders from doing their jobs, and potentially put you in harm’s way.

“Avoid the area” means that you should continue to go about your day normally, but take intentional steps to stay away from roadways and walkways surrounding and in the immediate vicinity of the messaged location. If a larger area is required, additional details will be provided in the CCU Alert.

If you have class, an appointment, or live in the facility/complex listed in the message, do not try to access the location until you receive the CCU Alert “all clear.” Students should notify their professors that they cannot access the building due to the CCU Alert message to avoid the area.

If you are inside the facility/complex at the time of the notification, follow the instructions of first responders on site.

If the University issues a CCU Alert to "avoid the area," does that mean there is a threat to campus?
No, not necessarily. The term “avoid the area” may be used for situations with and without a threat. If there is an active threat to the campus community, the message will contain information about the type of threat and suggested actions.

There are many types of situations where there is no threat to the campus community and “avoid the area” may be messaged through CCU Alert. Some potential situations that require response from local first responders in which a perimeter is necessary for resources and sometimes safety include: a utility malfunction, a medical incident, an isolated hazardous materials incident, a suspicious package, etc.

Do campus operations stop when a CCU Alert is issued?
The impact of a CCU Alert to campus operations is situationally dependent. Campus operations should continue as normal unless the actions mentioned in the CCU Alert require response or specifically mention a change to the status of campus operations. Students should notify professors if actions messaged on CCU Alert or subsequent modifications to campus operations impact their on-time arrival to class or attending class as scheduled. Below are some example situations.

  • If a CCU Alert is issued for a tornado warning with the message to shelter in place, all outdoor campus activities should pause and move indoors.
  • If a CCU Alert is issued instructing subscribers in an off-campus facility/complex to secure in place, campus operations will continue as normal. However, University shuttles and the Teal Mobile will pause service to this location, if applicable, until an all clear is issued.
  • If a CCU Alert is issued instructing subscribers to avoid the area for a location on campus, campus operations may be modified. Examples would include the modification of University Teal Mobile and shuttle routes and drop-off and pickup locations.

What does "police activity" mean?
When a CCU Alert references “police activity” at a specific location, it means law enforcement agencies are on the scene of an active situation. Law enforcement agencies not only respond to emergency calls, but also perform investigations, issue warrants, and assist other public safety agencies. Details of a law enforcement operation will not be disclosed. If there is a threat to campus, it will be communicated through CCU Alert.

Why can't the Department of Public Safety provide additional details of an incident?
There are policies and procedures in place that restrict the release of incident information to the public. CCU Alert is used to communicate time-sensitive information for a potential threat usually as an incident is occurring or just occurred. During this time, law enforcement incidents are traditionally under investigation, and, as such, CCU Alert will not provide updates with additional details of the incident. CCU does not have the authority to release additional details of incidents that occur off campus and are the responsibility of local government or county law enforcement agencies.    

How many CCU Alert text messages will I receive?
The exact number is difficult to predict, but there should be very few. However, you may, on occasion receive test messages which will help us determine the effectiveness of the system. You should receive messages within seconds of their transmission. If your cell phone is turned off when a text message is sent, you should receive it after your turn your cell phone on, provided your phone has not been turned off for an extended period.

How do I sign up for CCU Alert?
If you are a student, faculty or staff member please click on the "Create New Account" link and enter your information as requested.

Are there any costs for using CCU Alert?
The service is offered by CCU at no charge to students, faculty and staff, but, depending on each individual’s personal mobile phone plan, there may be a nominal fee from the carrier to use the service. Note: all land lines, most Tracfones and some pay-as-you-go phones will not register on the CCU Alert system. This is a limitation of the phone providers.

I do not subscribe to a text message plan with my mobile phone carrier. Is there another way that I can still receive CCU Alert messages?
CCU automatically sends emergency messages to CCU email addresses. You may also elect to have CCU Alert messages sent to a personal email address so that you receive an additional form of emergency communication.

Can my parents/spouse subscribe?
Students who sign up for CCU Alert may register a second mobile phone number and/or email address so that a parent/guardian or spouse/significant other can receive the same instantaneous message as the student. Note: each student subscriber is allowed up to two mobile phone numbers and two email addresses per account.

Do I need to install software and/or hardware in order to have CCU Alert?
No. CCU Alert is a 100 percent web-based software system, so you do not need any additional software or hardware. All you need is a web browser with an internet connection and you are ready to subscribe. You can look at CCU Alert as a Public Safety "Utility"- always on and ready for action.

What if I am having difficulty signing up?
For assistance, email your mobile phone number and the name of your provider to Indicate that you want to sign up in the Coastal Carolina University Alert system.

How long is my account active?
Your account is active from July – June. Each summer and early fall, CCU students, faculty and staff will be reminded to sign up for CCU Alert. Students graduating in December may cancel the account by following the instructions as noted in #10, "How do I Opt-Out (remove myself) from receiving CCU Alert?"

Will any person receive unsolicited messages ("SPAM") on their mobile phone?
No. CCU Alert enforces a ZERO SPAM policy which clearly prohibits unsolicited messages, and CCU Alert does not sell the contact information of our subscribers to third party marketers.

What if I change my cell phone service provider?
When you change cell/mobile phone provider but keep your existing mobile number it is considered "ported." Depending on the mobile phone provider, it may take up to 30 days for the CCU Alert system to be updated. During the "ported" time period, you may not receive alerts because the alerts are sent to the old mobile provider, which may not forward them. To prevent any delays or missed alerts, we recommend that you login to your CCU Alert account at and change your phone number (if applicable) and service provider.

How do I opt out (remove myself) from receiving CCU Alert?
You may make changes or delete your account at any time. Click on "Manage Existing Account" entering your user name and password. Click on the "Services" tab. Click on the "Make Inactive" or "Delete" button (top right of form) to make changes in your account.