Why does MSU have a mass notification system? 

The Clery Act requires higher education institutions to issue certain notifications to our community in the form of emergency notifications or timely warnings, known as MSU Alerts. These alerts enable the Spartan community to take necessary precautions to protect themselves. Timely warnings are issued for Clery Act crimes that occur on Clery Act geography that are considered serious or a continuing threat to students and employees. Emergency notifications are issued upon confirmation of a significant emergency or dangerous situation involving an immediate threat to the health or safety of students or employees occurring on campus. All MSU students, faculty and staff are automatically opted into the mass notification system. 

What are the various ways MSU Alerts may be sent? 

MSU Alerts are sent using a variety of modalities to ensure prompt, accessible, and clear messaging in emergency and urgent situations. Our multifaceted mass notification system delivers notifications to the Spartan community through computer desktop notifications, email, RSS, the SafeMSU app, SMS, telephones, sirens, and the alert.msu.edu website.

Audible MSU Alerts delivered over telephones will include tones and text-to-speech announcements. Audible alerts delivered over sirens will only include tones. Upon hearing the tone outside on campus, community members are asked to check their mobile devices for additional instructions. You can listen to the tone below.

What does automatically enrolling cell phone and preferred/primary residence phone numbers for students and employees mean?

This means your cell phone and/or preferred/primary phone number will automatically be entered into the system by the university. This enhances the capabilities within our mass notification alert system and allows you to automatically receive alerts through additional modalities.

How do I update my phone number in the Student Information System (SIS) and EBS?

Students: You should add or update your contact information by logging into the Student Information System (SIS). After logging in, please click on the ‘My Profile’ tile to access the Contact Details menu. From there, you can add and/or update your phone numbers, specifically:

  • The phone number entered in the “Cellular Number” field will receive SMS/text messages.
  • The phone number selected as “Preferred” will receive phone calls.

Employees: You should ensure that your contact information is up to date in the MSU EBS Portal. After logging in, please click on “My Personal Information” and “Personal Profile.” From there, you will need to update your contact information in two locations:

  • The phone number entered in the Addresses/Permanent Residence section as your Telephone Number will receive phone calls.
  • To receive SMS/text messages, ensure you have one cell phone number listed in the Contact Information section.
  • If you are also a student, please also update your information in SIS. SIS will serve as the master record.

How do I adjust my notification preferences, including silencing/opting out of modalities and adjusting locations?

Visit alert.msu.edu and log into the Portal with your MSU NetID and Password.

To adjust your modality preferences:

  • Select ‘My Profile (Edit)’
  • Add additional phone numbers or email addresses
  • Check the ‘Receive Notifications’ box adjacent to the contact in order to receive notifications on this modality. Uncheck to opt-out.
  • If you would like to receive notifications on the modality but only during certain times, click ‘Add Quiet Time’ under the modality and select the times during which you wish to avoid receiving notifications on this modality.
  • Once you have completed all of your preferences, click ‘Save’.
  • Please note: You cannot opt-out of or quiet notifications sent to your MSU email.

To adjust your location preferences:

  • Select ‘My Subscriptions (Edit)’
  • Check any areas you wish to receive notifications pertaining to. Uncheck those areas you do not wish to receive notifications pertaining to.
  • Note: You cannot opt-out of the East Lansing area and any additional area within which you have an office or class.

Will MSU share my name, email, or telephone number? 

No, MSU will not share your personal information.

Can I receive MSU Alerts if I am not an MSU student, staff, or faculty member? 

Yes!  Simply download the SafeMSU app (notifications must be enabled) or text MSUALERT to 888777.

How can I review or update my notification preferences?

Watch a step-by-step tutorial video here.

Will the MSU mass notification system be used for other purposes? 

The system will only be used to send MSU Alerts (emergency notifications) and Timely Warnings, both of which are required by the Clery Act.  For more information on Timely Warnings and the Clery Act, click here.

Why does MSU test the mass notification system? 

Regular testing is a core preparedness strategy within emergency management to maximize our readiness prior to the occurrence of an incident or emergency.  The Spartan community will be notified in advance prior to any testing of the mass notification system.  MSU DPPS regularly tests the mass notification system in the Spring, Summer, and Fall for several reasons.   

  1. Increase awareness of the mass notification system.  These tests help familiarize our Spartan community with receiving emergency notifications, identify issues that may impact their ability to receive notifications, and offer an opportunity to provide critical feedback of their experiences. 
  2. Ensure the system is functioning as expected.  Every modality is tested for promptness, clarity, accessibility, and reliability.   
  3. Identify and evaluate opportunities for improvement.  Recommendations to improve the effectiveness of our mass notification system, which may include administrative, procedural, or technological adjustments and enhancements, are made after reviewing test results and feedback from our Spartan community. 
  4. Set expectations.  Regular testing, in combination with annual training, helps to familiarize system administrators with how to activate the mass notification system prior to an emergency. 

What if I received an alert on my cellular phone but did not sign up for MSU Alerts?

The Ingham County Sherriff’s Office may activate Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) during an imminent threat to safety or life. WEA is a component of FEMA’s Integrated Public & Alert Warning System (IPAWS). For more information on IPAWS, please visit the FEMA website.

What should I do if I don’t receive an MSU Alert?   

The mass notification system is tested regularly to identify issues that may impact the successful delivery of an MSU Alert prior to an emergency. We recommend all Spartans regularly visit the MSU Alert portal, located at alert.msu.edu, to ensure their contact information is accurate, quiet time is not active, and that notifications are enabled. Spartans are strongly encouraged to complete the MSU Alert Support form if an MSU Alert was not received. MSU Police and Public Safety staff will work diligently to resolve any issues.

If you did not receive a WEA notification, please click here if you have an Android device or here if you have an iOS device.