Emergency Notification

UTAlert Emergency Notification System Overview

The university employs a variety of methods to notify the campus community of dangerous situations and major interruptions in campus operations. The goal is to inform a community, not every individual by every means available.  The campus community is asked to spread UTAlerts to others and take protective action for your safety.  For additional information, see the frequently asked questions at https://www.utk.edu/utalert/faq.shtml.

Emergency Blue Phones and Neyland speakers– outdoor voice messages all over campus.

If you notice the blue light flashing and a message being announced, seek additional information if necessary via email and web.

UTAlert email – sent in conjunction with the text but with more guidance like tips of how to protect yourself for the type of emergency.

There are no text limitations to the email so it allows for more detail than can be sent via text.  Emails are delivered by internal servers and normally arrive faster than text messages.

If you notice UTAlert emails going to your junk email, go to actions/junk email and add utalert@utk.edu to your safe senders list.

UTAlert  text – a general message notifying of a situation which requires immediate attention.

Text alerts are limited by characters so the information is very general.  The goal is to make you aware of the nature of the incident so you can take appropriate action.  Text speed is not as fast as individuals are used to because of the large volume being delivered by the UTAlert system.

Social Media – UTAlert text messages will be reposted on Twitter (@UTKnoxville).

Social media is a good way for people without a NETID to get UTAlert information.

Web – As updates and details are available they are posted on the campus homepage at utk.edu.

Speed is critical for UTAlerts to be effective; therefore, the initial notifications may lack specific details.  The campus homepage is used to provide details as they become available.

Media – Information may also be provided through the campus cable system and local media outlets.  These may help provide awareness but should not be considered an official source or information. There is a tendency to favor speed over accuracy which can lead to confusion.

“All Clear” – All UTAlert activations will be followed by an “all clear” message telling you that the situation has been stabilized.

Protective actions taken in response to a UTAlert should be continued until the all clear message is issued.

Examples of emergencies that will result in UTAlert activations:

  • Fires
  • Tornado Warning
  • Campus closures and delays (winter storm)
  • Utilities outages (power, network)
  • Active Shooter
  • Evacuations
  • Criminal activity

Safety Notice Emails are NOT UTAlerts.  They are a federally mandated reporting requirement concerning crimes and other safety issues and sent to everyone who has a utk.edu email account.  They are not related to being a UTAlert subscriber.

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