Tech to conduct full-scale emergency alerts test

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Virginia Tech will conduct a full-scale test of its VT Alerts emergency notification system on Sept. 10, 2020 at all university facilities across Virginia

The test will occur between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. During the test, there will also be outdoor sirens with annunciators on the Blacksburg campus. Virginia Tech Emergency Management would like to remind the Virginia Tech community that emergencies can happen at any time and signing up or updating your VT Alerts account is an important step in preparedness.

Individuals may subscribe to VT Alerts or update their account by visiting the VT Alerts website.

All members of the university community are asked to log in ahead of the Sept. 10 test to ensure their contact information and notification preferences, including region, are up-to-date.

VT Alerts is used to communicate critical information with the Virginia Tech community in the event of an emergency on campus. VT Alerts are issued when there is a need for community members to take immediate protective action, during university closures, or during system-wide tests in the fall and spring semesters.

When a VT Alert is sent out, the information is communicated with the community via outdoor sirens, fire alarm annunciators, electronic message boards (Blacksburg only), emails to vt.edu addresses, Virginia Tech status page, and social media updates. Additionally, Virginia Tech family and community members subscribing to VT Alerts will receive phone calls, text messages, emails to non-Virginia Tech email addresses, and VT Desktop Alerts.

VT Alerts include a regional identifier to assist subscribers in differentiating messages based on location.  Available regions and their associated regional identifiers (3-letter codes) include:

  • Blacksburg (NRV): Virginia Tech main campus, Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine);
  • Greater Washington, D.C. Metro Region (NCR): 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.; Virginia Tech Research Center – Arlington;
  • Richmond (RVA): Virginia Tech Richmond Center);
  • Hampton Roads (HR): Virginia Tech Hampton Roads Center, Virginia Beach; Virginia Tech Hampton Roads Center, Newport News;
  • Roanoke (ROA): Roanoke Higher Education Center, Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine and Research Institute;
  • Abingdon (ABD): Southwest Virginia Higher Education Center; and
  • Danville (DNVL): Institute for Advanced Learning and Research.

How to subscribe: students, faculty, and staff

Those with a Virginia Tech PID are eligible to subscribe to VT Alerts, which can be sent to a cell phone (by voice or text message), landline, or a non-Virginia Tech email address. Subscribers are able to choose up to three preferred contact methods when subscribing.

How to subscribe: Parents, family members, loved ones, campus vendors, contractors, community members

All Hokie family members, loved ones, vendors, and community members are able to subscribe to receive real-time VT Alerts to stay informed about Blacksburg campus emergencies.

To subscribe:

  1. Text HokieFam to 226787.
  2. For international SMS, text HokieFam to 1-424-322-6787.
  3. You will receive a text message confirming your subscription.

The alerts will be active for one year.

How to subscribe: Campus visitors

All visitors to the Virginia Tech Blacksburg campus are able to subscribe to receive real-time VT Alerts to stay informed about Blacksburg campus emergencies.

To subscribe:

  1. Text HokieVisit to 67283.
  2. You will receive a text message confirming your subscription.

The alerts will be active for 7 days. All users who subscribe will receive a message with instructions to opt-in again if desired at the end of the 7-day period.

Download the new Hokie Ready app

All Hokie loved ones, community members, and visitors are also encouraged to download the new Hokie Ready mobile safety app. App users can access important just-in-time emergency information, connect with Virginia Tech emergency services, and navigate the Blacksburg campus quickly and safely.

During an emergency

In the event of an actual emergency, individuals should be aware of their surroundings and take immediate responsibility for their personal safety and security. Initial VT Alerts messages will provide basic information on the nature and location of the emergency, as well as instructions for what to do.

Subsequent VT Alerts messages or first responders will provide additional instructions and updates about the incident until the all clear is given.

Detailed information, when available, will be posted to the university status page.

Troubleshooting

Individuals who have subscribed to receive alerts, but do not receive an alert during the Sept. 10 test, should first log in to verify that their record is correct and then contact 4Help at 540-231-HELP (4357).

All VT Alerts subscribers should expect to receive duplicate messages. This redundancy is intentional to ensure important information reaches as many people as possible in the shortest amount of time.

Please direct further questions to Virginia Tech Emergency Management at 540-231-4873 or oem@vt.edu.