Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What is “Eastern Alert”?
The Connecticut State Colleges and Universities Board of Regents has purchased an emergency notification system which utilizes an off-site service (Everbridge) to provide quick distribution of time-sensitive emergency messages to multiple devices selected by the subscriber (i.e. text messages, email, phone call, etc.). Eastern’s emergency notification system is called “Eastern Alert.”
What types of emergencies are covered?
Eastern Alert is intended for use in the case of major university-wide emergencies. These might include a major fire; a hazardous material spill; a major weather incident (i.e. tornado, hurricane); a campus safety issue; a campus closing due to severe winter weather; and other events that impact the entire campus. More contained situations (i.e. kitchen fire in one dormitory) would be handled in other ways and students, faculty, and staff would be contacted using communications systems other than Eastern Alert, such as our campus email or public address systems.
How do I sign up?
Anyone with an Eastern ID can enroll via eWeb, Eastern’s online services, by browsing to https://eweb.easternct.edu. Login using your 8-digit Eastern ID number (printed on your University picture ID card) and your PIN. Select the Personal Information tab and click the Eastern Alert link.A series of information/opt-in sessions will be scheduled for staff, faculty, and current students. New students will be given the option during the annual SOARS orientations.
What types of devices can I sign up for?
Cell phone; SMS text; land lines (home phones, off-campus business phones); TTY and e-mail addresses. It should be stressed that the Eastern Alert system is set up to notify the people who routinely live, work, and/or study on the Eastern campus. Sending a message to your home phone in Glastonbury or Chicago will not help us to notify you on campus, so you should consider what devices are accessible to you while you are here.
What are the costs?
While subscribing to the service is free of charge, any charges currently associated with your cell phone or other telecommunication service that you subscribe to will be applicable (i.e., when receiving text messages from the Eastern Alert system). If you are charged for incoming text or voice messages, those charges would apply and be levied by your service provider. By subscribing to the Eastern Alert service, you are acknowledging that you are responsible for any such charges that are incurred.
Will my parents be notified?
Eastern Alert is a closed system, with enrollment available only to students, faculty, staff and contractors with an ongoing relationship with the University, e.g. Food Service personnel, Bookstore, etc. If you would like your parents, guardians or other family members to receive Eastern Alerts, you can enter their contact numbers in your Eastern Alert profile via eWeb.
Is my privacy compromised?
No. The system uses Everbridge, a third-party, proprietary, off-site vendor. No personal data other than the contact information that you provide is gathered (i.e., cell phone number or e-mail). In addition, Everbridge does not have rights to sell, disclose, or trade your contact information. Only the University employees who administer the system will also have access to your contact information. No other access will be allowed except as may be required by law.
How will I know when a message is from the Eastern Alert system?
E-mails, voice messages, and text messages will indicate, “EASTERN ALERT…” followed by an event-specific message, i.e. weather closing, hazmat alert, etc. The phone number on incoming messages to your cell phone will be (860) 465-5735.
Can I have my cell phone on now in class?
The Eastern Alert system will be set up to send emergency messages to the land line phone in every classroom on campus. Rules regarding cell phone use in class are at the discretion of the faculty.
Does this make me safe?
No emergency notification system can guarantee your safety. The Eastern Alert system is a communication tool. The intent is to use it to provide quick notification of emergency situations to everyone who signs up for the system.
What else does Eastern have in place to ensure campus safety?
The Eastern Alert system is one of a number of safety procedures, communications tools, and other technologies the University has in place as part of its overall incident response plan. In addition to a trained police force/first response team, our resident assistants all receive safety training in such issues as fire prevention, evacuation procedures, and who to notify in case of emergencies. In addition to Everbridge services, Eastern communications includes all-campus emails, an emergency website, public address systems, and other communications strategies.
What types of messages can I expect to see?
Messages will be short. Sample messages include:
- Eastern Alert. A campus wide lockdown has been issued. Secure all exterior doors and seek shelter immediately.
- Eastern Alert. Evacuate (University location) immediately.
- Eastern Alert. Eastern is closed today, (date). Essential personnel should report as normal.
Can I change my contact preferences? Does the University correct my contact information or must I do that?
It is up to you to enter and update your contact information. The University will not do that for you. You can edit your contact information at any time by logging into your eWeb account at https://eweb.easternct.edu and updating the information.
Will the University test the system? If so, when will I know that?
The University will conduct periodic tests of the Eastern Alert System. In some cases, subscribers are notified in advance of emergency tests and drills, and test messages will be identified as such.
How can I deactivate my subscription?
If you would like to terminate your Eastern Alert account, log into your eWeb account, navigate to the Personal Information tab, select the Eastern Alert link and click the OPT-OUT button.
Do you have instructions to assist me in signing up for Eastern Alert?
Yes. Go to http://www.easternct.edu/easternalert/accountcreation/ for details.
Who can I contact for more information?
E-mail email@example.com or call the Office of University Relations at (860) 465-5735.