Division of IT

Emergency Mass Notification Service: Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Emergency Mass Notification Service (EMNS)?
EMNS enables campus authorities to record one message to send to all faculty, staff, and students in the event of a threat to campus health and safety. The EMNS rapidly delivers messages to one or more communications devices thus increasing the chance of successful notifications. Devices include cell phone voice, cell phone text, university email, alternate personal email, wireline phones, and numeric and alphanumeric pagers.
Why do we need EMNS?
Tragic events on college campuses across the country in past years point to the need for mass notifications to secure life and property.
How is EMNS different from the mass email?
Email is an extremely effective mass notification tool. But what if email was temporarily down as the result of a disaster? The EMNS can bypass email and deliver a message to a cell phone or other communications device. Additionally, many of us are frequently on the move and thus not logged into email (unless using a Smartphone or tablet with email service). A cell phone with or without text messaging provides an excellent message delivery tool for highly mobile users.
What information should I provide and to whom?
We already know your university email address, and for faculty and staff, university phone number. You can share your cell phone number, text message address, pager and/or alternate personal e-email at any time by entering/updating your information into myZou or myHR.
May I designate my alternate email address for other University business?
No. We will direct all official university communication to your university email address. The alternate email address is just another way to contact you during an emergency.
When should I provide emergency contact information?
You may enter your information anytime into myZou or myHR. If you are a student, you will enter or update your emergency contact data at least once each semester beginning January 1, June 1, and August 1. You won't be able to transact business in myZou until you have provided information or opted out.
If I opt out, does that mean you'll never contact me?
No. We will still contact you via official university email, and in the case of faculty/staff, your university-provided phone number.
Will you use or sell my personal contact information?
No. We collect the information solely for emergency messaging.
Will you use the information to spam me?
I don't have a cell phone? What do I do?
Just leave the cell phone (and text messaging in most cases) data entry field empty. You will continue to receive email notifications at your official university address (and university phone number if you are faculty/staff). Assuming you have provided the information, at your local phone number, alternate personal email address, and/or pager.
I don't use text messaging on my cell phone. What do I do?
Just leave the text messaging data entry field empty. EMNS will just skip over text messaging to deliver to your other contact numbers, if you provided them.
Is there a charge?
No, EMNS is free to you. However, some cell phone carriers do charge for text message delivery. Check with your cell phone carrier to be sure.
What happens if I can't answer my cell phone?
The EMNS leaves you a voicemail. Note that the voicemail message may be an electronic, or text-to-speech, voice.
If I get the message, then what do I do?
Ensure others nearby are aware of the emergency message. EMNS relies ultimately on word-of-mouth to complete message delivery.
What happens if I don't confirm any of the messages?
We may feel the message is important enough to try again by programming a second or third cycle. In any case, you will have a voicemail, a text message, or an email waiting for you whether confirmed or not.
Will the EMNS be used to notify me of non-emergency campus events?
No. Campus-wide notifications are only for emergencies.
Will my contact data be safe?
Obviously, we share your contact information with our vendor, who maintains a strict privacy policy. Under the terms of our contract, the vendor will not share your information with anyone.
What if I leave the University?
We will remove your contact information from the vendor's database.
Can my parents be notified?
It is possible if you enter their phone number in your contact data. It's better that you do not do this, because the message is intended for you where the emergency is occurring.
Where can I call to learn more?
Call the Division of IT Help Desk at 882-5000.