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Virginia Tech News / Articles / 2007 / 06 

University agreement to significantly expand campus emergency notification systems

June 21, 2007

Virginia Tech has reached an agreement with 3n (National Notification Network) that will significantly expand the university's ability to send critical news and information to the university community during campus emergencies.

The new emergency notification system, along with existing communications vehicles long used by the university, will form the basis of “VT Alerts,” a fully integrated and coordinated emergency communications program maintained by Virginia Tech’s Office of University Relations.

The expanded VT Alerts system will debut July 2; students, faculty, and staff will be able to sign up for several new 3n-enabled emergency notification options beginning that day. The expanded VT Alerts system will be fully operational by Aug. 20, the first day of fall classes.

3n's technology will enable the university to send messages to students, faculty, and staff using methods and media not maintained by the university, such as text messages to personal cell phones, instant messages via systems maintained by America Online (AOL), Yahoo, or MSN, and phone calls and e-mails to numbers and mailboxes that reside outside the university's network.

In addition, the system will allow subscribers to list contacts for parents, spouses, or other individuals among their contact preferences.

Currently, the university has several communications tools to reach students, faculty, and staff, including the heavily used university homepage, the Virginia Tech News website, broadcast e-mail alerts, broadcast voice-mail messages, a recorded emergency hotline (231-6668), the university switchboard, and a coordinated use of public media outlets.

"We began the process of adding to and enhancing our already robust emergency notification system last fall, and we were in the final stages of selecting a vendor when the tragic events of April 16 occurred,” said Larry Hincker, associate vice president for university relations. “The 3n InstaCom Campus Alert system is a sophisticated tool that is easy to use. I believe it can only further benefit our students, faculty, and staff.”

“At any level of the educational hierarchy, safety is the top priority. 3n is proud to partner with Virginia Tech to ensure the well-being of the university’s students, faculty and staff by providing a modernized mass notification approach,” said Cinta Putra, CEO and co-founder of 3n. “We are looking forward to a successful and growing relationship with Virginia Tech in which we will provide the university with the essential communication tools to handle any crisis situation that may arise in the future.”

3n® (National Notification Network) is the leading global provider of mass notification solutions to Global 2000 corporations, government agencies, healthcare systems, and educational institutions in more than 230 countries worldwide. For more information about 3n, log on to it website or call 888-366-4911.

Founded in 1872 as a land-grant college, Virginia Tech is the most comprehensive university in the Commonwealth of Virginia and is among the top research universities in the nation. Today, Virginia Tech’s eight colleges are dedicated to quality, innovation, and results through teaching, research, and outreach activities. At its 2,600-acre main campus located in Blacksburg and other campus centers in Northern Virginia, Southwest Virginia, Hampton Roads, Richmond, and Roanoke, Virginia Tech enrolls more than 28,000 undergraduate and graduate students from all 50 states and more than 100 countries in 180 academic degree programs.

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