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February 23, 2010

Media Contact: Peyton Low
Sports Information, Facilities and Operations
The University of Texas at Tyler

UT Tyler Announces PatriotALERT Service for Emergency Notifications

The University of Texas at Tyler has implemented a new mass notification service, called PatriotALERT, to provide critical information to students, faculty, and staff during emergencies on campus.

When activated, PatriotALERT can send e-mail, voice and text messages to the campus community within minutes. Some components of the system were already used this semester during the recent winter weather event and during the tornado warning in late January.

“In today’s current climate we need to be prepared for situations that we never could have anticipated happening and recognize the important role that immediate communication plays in keeping students safe,” said Howard Patterson, vice president for student affairs. “As part of our comprehensive emergency preparedness plans, we have added the PatriotALERT service because of its multi-modal capabilities that will allow us to keep students and employees informed whether they are in their dorms, sitting in front of their computers, or on their way to class.”

The PatriotALERT service enables University officials to send voice messages to up to three phone numbers per student and employee (home, cellular, and campus/office), and immediately send messages via text message and e-mail.

Everyone who has a UT Tyler e-mail address will receive emergency alerts to their campus e-mail address. In order to also receive text and voice message alerts, members of the campus community are asked to provide updated phone contact information using the instructions provided at http://www.uttyler.edu/emergency/patriotalert.  While participation in the text and voice messaging notification is optional, enrollment is strongly recommended by the university.

“Notifying students immediately is crucial in time-sensitive situations, such as a tornado or active shooter,” Patterson said. “It is essential for students, faculty, and staff to update their contact information. The more means we have to contact individuals, the better our odds are of spreading timely information and updates, and keeping everyone safe.”

According to Mike Medders, university police chief, it is now vital for students, faculty, and staff to provide updated contact information so they can be reached in an emergency.

“If you do not update your telephone contact information, you may only receive emergency messages on your official campus e-mail address,” said Medders. “We strongly recommend that students and staff provide at least one updated phone number, a mobile/cellular phone is recommended, for PatriotALERT to ensure that they receive emergency messages in a timely manner.”

Medders continued, “Students can check and update their contact information in the myUT Tyler Student Portal (POPS) and faculty/staff can use the UT Direct system. We have provided instructions on the PatriotALERT Web site.”

Contact information included in the PatriotALERT service will only be used for campus emergency notifications and will not be made available to any other service.

More information about PatriotALERT is available at: http://www.uttyler.edu/emergency/patriotalert.

PatriotALERT replaces the TextCaster system formerly used by the university and individuals will need to update their contact information in PatriotALERT to receive notifications.

One of the 15 campuses of the UT System, UT Tyler offers excellence in teaching, research, artistic performance and community service. More than 90 undergraduate and graduate degrees are available at UT Tyler, which has an enrollment of more than 6,000 high-ability students at its campuses in Tyler, Longview and Palestine.


The University of Texas at Tyler
Office of News and Information
Admin 367 3900 University Blvd.
Tyler, Tx 75799

Ph: 903.566.7000
Fx: 903.566.7173

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