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Regional notification feature now allows VT Alerts messages to be targeted to six regions across commonwealth


BLACKSBURG, Va., Dec. 8, 2010 – Virginia Tech students, staff, and faculty may now receive VT Phone Alerts messages and university (vt.edu) e-mail notifications specifically targeted to university facilities in six key regions across Virginia — National Capital Region, Abingdon, Danville, Hampton Roads, Richmond, and Roanoke — as well as the Blacksburg campus.

To receive emergency messages specifically directed to those in specific regions, students, faculty, and staff must either sign up for VT Phone Alerts, or update their current VT Phone Alerts record. Visit the VT Alerts website and click on the “Manage Your Account” link.

Subscribers may select emergency notifications for up to three different regions. Existing VT Phone Alerts accounts will default to Blacksburg notifications only unless the account is updated by the user.

All other elements of VT Alerts — the university homepage, electronic message boards in classrooms, the (540) 231-6668 emergency hotline, outdoor sirens, university switchboard, and VT Desktop Alerts — will only be used for emergency messages intended for the Blacksburg community.

VT Phone Alerts will be utilized in those instances when severe weather impacts class schedules and the opening or closing of the Blacksburg campus only. It will not be used for inclement weather announcements affecting the other six regions. Students, faculty, and staff in regions other than Blacksburg should continue to follow existing inclement weather announcement procedures.

The regional notification groups cover the following university locations

  • Blacksburg (Virginia Tech main campus, Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine);
  • National Capital Region (Northern Virginia Center in Falls Church, Va.; Marion Dupont Scott Equine Medical Center in Leesburg, Va.; Middleburg Agricultural Research and Extension Center; Alexandria Center; Occoquan Watershed Monitoring Laboratory in Manassas, Va.; Advanced Research Institute in Arlington, Va.);
  • Richmond (Virginia Tech Richmond Center);
  • Hampton Roads (Virginia Tech Hampton Roads Center);
  • Roanoke (Roanoke Higher Education Center, Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine and Research Institute);
  • Abingdon (Southwest Virginia Higher Education Center); and
  • Danville (Institute for Advanced Learning and Research).

Approximately 40,000 students, faculty, and staff are currently enrolled to receive VT Phone Alerts. Subscribers to this service may receive text messages, phone calls to designated numbers, and/or e-mail messages.

Because VT Phone Alerts is intended to communicate urgent information to students, faculty, and staff during an emergency, it is important that each subscriber carefully consider her or his points of contact. If a user includes parents, spouses, or others among your points of contact, it is suggested that you list yourself as the first point of contact. To review your account, visit the VT Alerts website and click on the “Manage Your Account” link.

In the event of an actual emergency, individuals must be aware of their surroundings and take immediate responsibility for their personal safety and security. Initial VT Alerts messages will provide basic information on what to do; further instructions and updates will be provided by subsequent VT Alerts messages or first responders. In-depth information, when available, will be posted to the university homepage.

VT Alerts is Virginia Tech's Emergency Notification System. In an emergency, Virginia Tech will use several information delivery methods to reach students, faculty, and staff because, at any given time, one form of communications might be better to reach a person than another.

Dedicated to its motto, Ut Prosim (That I May Serve), Virginia Tech takes a hands-on, engaging approach to education, preparing scholars to be leaders in their fields and communities. As the commonwealth’s most comprehensive university and its leading research institution, Virginia Tech offers 225 undergraduate and graduate degree programs to more than 31,000 students and manages a research portfolio of $496 million. The university fulfills its land-grant mission of transforming knowledge to practice through technological leadership and by fueling economic growth and job creation locally, regionally, and across Virginia.