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 the campus community, not every individual by every means available. Students, faculty, and staff are asked to spread UT Alerts to others and take protective action for your safety.
For additional information, see the UT Alert frequently asked questions.
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 by e-mail and web.
UT Alert 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 you are used to because of the large volume being delivered by the UT Alert system.
UT Alert E-mail
Sent in conjunction with the text but with more guidance, like tips on how to protect yourself for the type of emergency. There are no text limitations to the e-mail so it allows for more detail than can be sent by text.
If you notice UT Alert e-mails going to your junk e-mail, go to actions/junk e-mail and add email@example.com to your safe senders list.
UT Alert text messages are automatically posted to UTPD Facebook (Facebook.com/UTKPD) and Twitter (@UTPolice) and will be reposted on campus Twitter (@UTKnoxville). Social media is a good way for people without a NETID to get UT Alert information.
UT Alert text messages will take over any active computer monitor that has the Alertus client software downloaded. If your computer is not on the active directory you can download the software from the OIT download page.
As updates and details are available, they are posted on the campus homepage at utk.edu. Speed is critical for UT Alerts to be effective; therefore, the initial notifications may lack specific details. The campus homepage is used to provide details as they become available.
UT Alert text messages can be sent to building electronic signage and campus cable TV when appropriate. Departments can contact the Office of Emergency Management to learn more.
Information may also be provided through 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 UT Alert activations will be followed by an “all clear” message telling you that the situation has been stabilized. Protective actions taken in response to a UT Alert should be continued until the all clear message is issued.
Examples of emergencies that will result in UT Alert activations:
- Tornado warnings
- Campus closures and delays (winter storm)
- Active Shooter
- Utility outages (power, network)
- Criminal activity
UT Alerts are generally used to inform of a threat to the campus community that requires individual action. UT Alert activation for crimes in the area is based on both the threat and the location of the incident in accordance with the Clery Act. For more information about when UT Alert is activated see UT Alert and Safety Notices 101.
Safety Notice E-mails are NOT UT Alerts. They are a federally mandated reporting requirement concerning crimes and other safety issues.
Campus visitors can sign up to temporarily receive alerts while they are on campus for business or an event by texting the keyword VisitorsUTAlert to 67283. There is an automatic expiration after 30 days or you can opt out at any time by replying STOP to the confirmation text.