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Emergency text-message service being tested this month

Be on the lookout this month for a test of the MIT Alert text-messaging service, a key component of the Institute's emergency notification program.

In the event of a major life-safety or public-health emergency on campus, MIT Alert will notify and advise students, faculty and staff via a number of communication channels, including text message, Institute phone and e-mail, as well as through MIT's emergency web site.

This month, the office of Security and Emergency Management (SEMO) is working closely with staff in IS&T to test the MIT Alert text-messaging service. Members of the community who have signed up to receive a text message by providing their cell phone number are being contacted to validate that information. Later in the month, randomly selected individuals will receive test text messages on their cell phone or other mobile device.

Bill VanSchalkwyk, co-director of SEMO, hopes that individuals who receive a test text message will acknowledge receipt by visiting MIT's emergency web site. For more information about the MIT Alert emergency communications program, please visit

A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on January 14, 2009 (download PDF).

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