Contact: Allison Matthews
STARKVILLE, Miss.—Mississippi State is upgrading its Maroon Alert emergency notification system, which sends important messages to students, faculty and staff on existing or imminent threats, such as inclement weather. A new technical support system is being implemented that will allow users to receive messages through multiple avenues, including a smartphone app, SMS text messages, email and calls.
The university is partnering with Everbridge, an industry leader in emergency messaging, to provide several enhancements to the Maroon Alert system. In addition to the new smartphone app, additional upgrades include faster delivery speeds, personalized weather notifications, community messaging and more.
MSU Emergency Manager Brent Crocker said a system-wide test of the enhanced Maroon Alert system is scheduled for Friday [Jan. 18] at noon. Text messages will originate from a new number, and Crocker is asking people to add 89361 to their phone contacts and name it Maroon Alert. The Friday test is expected to conclude by 12:10 p.m.
“Give this number, 89361, a special contact notification so you will immediately recognize it as an important message,” Crocker said.
The test message will include instructions for confirming message receipt, which will help measure delivery success and halt additional attempts to reach the message recipient.
Crocker explained that when an emergency occurs or is expected, a Maroon Alert is sent to the university. Those who have downloaded and installed the app will first receive it via this app. Those who do not have the app will receive an SMS text.
“Recipients should acknowledge receipt of this message by tapping the app button or replying to the text. If you do not acknowledge, the system will wait one minute and then try to reach you by email, and finally a phone call with an audio version of the message,” he said.
Maroon Alerts will continue to be posted to emergency.msstate.edu, @MaroonAlert on Twitter, and the Mississippi State University Facebook page. The university also is working on new ways of displaying messages in classrooms, offices and common areas with these additional enhancements planned for implementation over time. Some emergencies may be broadcast on WMSV 91.1 FM radio, MSTV, or outdoor warning loudspeakers.
Crocker advises all MSU students, faculty and staff to update Maroon Alert contact information by verifying that their cellular numbers are correct in the university's Banner system. He recommended that everyone affiliated with MSU opt in to receive Maroon Alert text messages.
“If you do not regularly check your university email account, please have these emails forwarded to a preferred account,” he said.
Individuals may download the Maroon Alert app—Everbridge—from their app store. Instructions are available at https://www.emergency.msstate.edu/app/. Frequently asked questions also are available at https://www.emergency.msstate.edu/faqs/.
For more information about MSU’s Maroon Alert system, visit https://www.emergency.msstate.edu/maroon-alert/. Follow @MaroonAlert on Twitter.
For questions or to report any problems with registering for Maroon Alert, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
MSU is Mississippi’s leading university, available online at www.msstate.edu.