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UT ALERT Frequently Asked Questions

General Information

What is UT Alert?

UT Alert LogoUT Alert is a method of notifying the campus community in a timely manner about serious emergencies, ongoing situations, or disruptions to normal operations on campus. All students, faculty, and staff are registered to receive UT Alert emails and can log in the system to make sure their mobile telephone number is correct to receive text messages.

How do I confirm or update my information for UT Alert Text Messages?

It’s easy! Just log in using your NetID and password and follow the instructions.

Is there a cost?

No. The only charges you might incur are the normal fees charged by your wireless provider for receiving text messages.

Is UT Alert just for mobile phones?

The UT Alert service sends messages to any mobile device that can receive text messages, such as mobile phones, smartphones, text pagers, and tablets. UT Alert messages are automatically sent to faculty, staff, and student email accounts regardless of whether they are subscribed to receive text messages.

When will I get a UT Alert message?

A UT Alert message will be sent when there is a situation on campus that can impact safety and disrupt regular campus operations.


  • An armed person has been reported on campus and is still at large.
  • Severe weather, such as a tornado warning, or the university closing due to severe winter weather.

Will I get advertising messages from UT Alert?

No. UT Alert will not be used to deliver any kind of advertising content, and mobile numbers will never be given to any third party.

Can my parents or guardian subscribe to UT Alert?

The service is designed to notify only members of our campus community. Emergency messages are reposted to UT’s Twitter account, which parents can sign up to follow. In a major emergency, information will be posted to the front page of

What if I don’t have a mobile device or my device doesn’t support text messaging?

UT Alert e-mail and text messages are among the communication channels used in the event of an emergency. In significant emergencies, the university utilizes multiple means to communicate. You can also monitor, your UT e-mail account, UT’s Twitter account, and local media during a prolonged emergency or safety threat.

Updating Your Account and Unsubscribing

How do I change my mobile device number or update my contact information?

Users can update their account information by clicking on the UT Alert link on the myUTK homepage or log in to their account from this page.

How do I stop receiving UT Alert messages?

You can opt out of receiving UT Alert text messages at any time by texting STOP to 226787 or 67283 or 78015 or 81437.

Once you send the STOP message, you will receive a text message to confirm your removal. You can also opt out by deleting the number from the mobile phone section of the My Account tab.

Opting out will not remove you from the e-mail delivery of UT Alert, which is mandatory for all faculty, students, and staff.

Computer Desktop Notifications

An upgrade to the UT Alert system allows us to send emergency notification messages to computer desktops through the Alertus client software. All computers on Active Directory should already have the Alertus software installed.

If it has been properly installed, the Alertus icon should appear on your toolbar: Alertus toolbar icon

How Does It Work?

UT Alert System ExampleThe Alertus software enables the display of UT Alert messages on all computers registered through Active Directory.

The alert can be eliminated by clicking the “acknowledge” button on the bottom of the screen. It will also go away automatically after 10 minutes. The display will not appear on computers that are turned off or in sleep mode.

How do I get it?

If it has not been automatically installed, all faculty, staff and students can download the Alertus client software from the OIT download page.

If you have problems downloading the software, please call the OIT Helpdesk at 865-974-9900.

Safe at UT; Campus Safety App

What is Safe at UT?

Safe at UT meets student requests for a mobile solution to simplify communication with the university. Users have convenient access to campus resources and services without having to hunt through the internet for them.

From reports of broken lights, safety hazards, or suspicious activities to questions about sexual harassment or a troubled peer, the app will make it simple to communicate a variety of concerns to the university by submitting texts, pictures, videos, and audio files.

The app provides convenient access to campus services and resources including the UT Police Department, the Office of Title IX, the Student Health Center and Counseling Center, and Facilities Services, along with bus routes for the T Transit System and the location of automated external defibrillators.

The app’s SafeWalk feature allows you to share a walking or driving route and estimated arrival time with chosen contacts. Your contacts are notified if you fail to arrive on time, and they can trace your route on a map.

How do I get the Safe at UT App?

The Safe at UT App is available for download.

After installing, register the app with your phone number or email.

How do I use the Safe at UT App?

With Safe at UT, you can reach 911 or UT Police with a simple touch.

Sharing your location with the app can significantly improve response to your emergency, as well as allow you to access the full suite of features.

The emergency functions of the app can be used off campus and will route calls to local emergency services wherever you are—even if you are traveling overseas.

A geolocation feature lets the university target specific locations with messaging—for example, a game-day reminder of prohibited items in Neyland Stadium.

Use the SafeWalk feature to invite friends from your smartphone’s contact list to keep track of your progress toward a destination, whether walking or driving. An online map shares your progress in real time and lets friends know when you arrive safely.

More information is available on the Campus Safety App webpage.

More about Communicating During Emergencies

How long does it take to receive a UT Alert message?

The UT Alert text messaging service can distribute text messages to its more than 42,000 subscribers in less than five minutes. However, wireless providers may not be able to deliver messages to individual devices at the same pace.

What do I do when I receive an alert?

Use the brief information in the message to make immediate decisions about your safety. Then seek additional information and direction by checking the UT alert e-mail, which may have more information. You should also monitor your e-mail for additional messages from the university. You can also follow the university on Twitter and check for status updates on and through local media reports.

How do I know when an emergency is over?

The university will use several communication methods to let people know that the immediate threat has passed or that campus operations have returned to normal.

Why do I sometimes get both a text message and an e-mail notification, and at other times only one or the other?

The university will sometimes send a follow-up safety notice to all students, faculty, and staff. While they are often similar to UT Alert messages, these university broadcast e-mail messages are sent separately from UT Alerts and are sent only through e-mail.

On the other hand, there is sometimes a need to notify the campus community about a crime that has occurred when the circumstances do not require an immediate action—that is, there is no need to warn people to stay away from a specific area or to shelter in place. In that case, UT Alert will not be activated and the notification will be sent only by e-mail.

In the event of an emergency, how else will UT notify the campus?

In addition to text messages, e-mail, and the website, the university may make use of campus blue light phones, which turn into public address loudspeakers in a serious emergency.

Who sends the notifications? What’s displayed in the sender line?

UT Alert text messages will always come from 226787, 67283, 78015, or 81437 and reference UT Alert. For e-mail messages, the subject line will say UT Alert and the sender will be

Additional questions or problems?

If you have additional questions or problems, contact or call 865-974-3061 for assistance.

I am registered but not receiving the messages. What should I do?

If your wireless provider blocks messages:

This most commonly occurs when a wireless provider incorrectly treats a UT Alert message as a premium message. There are provider account settings that can be adjusted to correct this problem. Contact your provider and let them know you are unable to receive the university’s emergency text alert messages and that you have confirmed that you are signed up correctly.

If your e-mail account reads the UT Alert e-mail as junk mail:

Make sure your account recognizes UT alerts as legitimate e-mail. If an alert goes to your junk e-mail, right click on junk in the menu and then select not junk. Make sure the box is clicked that says Always trust e-mail from and click OK.

Return to the UT ALERT registration page