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In an effort to proactively enhance emergency communications, the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh has adopted the e2Campus emergency notification system. The system enables the University to send urgent messages about emergencies to student, faculty and staff cell phones.

The new system enables school officials to send instant alerts directly to registered subscribers’ personal e-mail accounts and mobile phones via SMS text messages. The campus community can also receive the alerts as a phone call to their homes, offices, RSS readers, wireless PDAs, “My Yahoo,” “My AOL” and personalized iGoogle home page. Members of the campus community would opt-in to the service; standard text message rates would apply.

“Those who opt in to the service will get emergency notifications sent immediately to their cell phones,” said Petra Roter, vice chancellor for student affairs. “In the middle of a crisis, it is important to have a multi-dimensional approach to reaching people with important information.”

Added Tom Sonnleitner, “The University is committed to providing better communications with faculty, staff, students and visitors, especially for emergency situations. This is one step in fulfilling that commitment.”

The notification system will only be used to communicate during emergencies, such as severe weather warnings, gas leaks, fires, bomb threats, crime watches or power failures.

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“This service enhances the multi-channel strategy that the University currently deploys for emergency situations, which utilizes e-mail, the University Web site, RSS feeds and a telephone hotline,” said Jeanette DeDiemar, executive director of Integrated Marketing and Communications.