Bill Koch, associate vice chancellor for environmental health and campus safety, said the university chose the new Rave Mobile Safety system for two main reasons.
“First, this system flags our messages with the cell phone providers as emergency and they are to be sent out first in their system,” he said. “And it greatly reduces the number of steps for the person sending the emergency message and thus greatly reduces the chance for mistakes.”
Nearly 700 higher education institutions in the United States use Rave Mobile Safety, including UNC-Chapel Hill and Duke University.
Koch expects the ECU community to see no difference in emergency messages because planning has emphasized a seamless transition.
ECU ALERT emails will continue to be sent to all university email addresses. Other parts of ECU ALERT, such as the emergency notification screens, will not change at this time.
For ECU faculty, staff and students already signed up to receive ECU ALERT text messages, no additional action is needed.
For ECU users who would like to sign-up to receive text messages, visit www.ecu.edu/alert and follow the instructions for registering your cell phone in the section for faculty, staff and students.
The initial set-up cost for Rave was $10,000 with an annual fee of $32,000. Koch said the new system offers the advantage of a flat-fee for a year’s service. The previous vendor charged per message sent.
“There maybe some additional cost over the old system, but we think it will be worth it from the safety-perspective,” Koch said. “We’re trying to more than double the number of people who will be receiving text messages. And in the end, if it works to send more text messages to more people, then it’s worth the safety investment.”
Currently, 56 percent of students and 42 percent of faculty/staff are signed up to receive ECU ALERT text messages.
A full test of the ECU ALERT notification system is planned for May 14.
If you have any problems on April 24 signing up for ECU ALERT text messages, contact the ECU Help Desk at (252) 328-9866, or the ECU ALERT Team at ECUAlertInfo@ecu.edu.