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First Campus-Wide Test of the UPennAlert Emergency Notification System
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April 1, 2008, Volume 54, No. 27

The University of Pennsylvania conducted its first campus-wide test of the UPennAlert Emergency Notification System on February 29, 2008. UPennAlert messages were sent to recipients in two separate tests: one via voice message to work phones, and one via text, e-mail, and voice message to cell phones.

Results of the campus-wide test indicate that UPennAlert messages were sent to a total of 94,746 recipients, with some recipients receiving the message on more than one device.

The message was sent to:

• 12,659 recipients via voice message to work phones

• 58,714 recipients via e-mail

• 20,396 recipients via text message

• 15,686 recipients via voice message to cell phones

The test enabled the Division of Public Safety (DPS) and Information Systems & Computing (ISC) to proactively evaluate the effectiveness of the system’s infrastructure and identify potential system limitations. An important goal of the test was also to provide members of the Penn community the opportunity to experience the UPennAlert in a non-crisis situation so they know what to expect should the alert be employed during an actual major emergency.

UPennAlert was implemented in August of 2007 and is an integral part of Penn’s emergency preparedness plan. The system is designed to enable fast and efficient dissemination of critical information to members of the University community during a major emergency. For this reason, it is critical for faculty and staff to maintain accurate contact information, and especially to add their cell phone numbers in the Penn Directory so that University officials can communicate with members of the community wherever they happen to be during a crisis.

Faculty and staff can update their contact information by accessing the Penn Directories via  www.upenn.edu/directories, and logging in with their PennKey to ‘Update Directory Listings.’

Almanac - April 1, 2008, Volume 54, No. 27