ISU alerts get an update


An Iowa State Police officer at a traffic stop on Union Drive. 

Devyn Leeson

The Iowa State University alert system, which notifies students and faculty of emergencies, is in transition and preliminary tests of the system start this week.

The previous emergency system ran through Blackboard Connect, but as a part of the campus decision to move away from Blackboard, Iowa State decided to start using a system called Rave Mobile Safety.

Iowa State’s Critical Incident Readiness Team, or CIRT, suggests that students review and update their ISU Alert notification options on AccessPlus. This is important as employee and student text notifications are left blank unless edited in AccessPlus.

“We want to know how you can most quickly and likely be reached,” CIRT chair Vernon Hurte said in an interview with inside Iowa State. “The contact information you share isn’t used beyond ISU Alert.”

Phone notifications will come from either 67283 or 226787. Chief of ISU police, Michael Newton, encouraged students and faculty to save the numbers so they can recognize when they are being notified of incidents.

Phone carriers who do not support the shorter phone numbers will instead send the alerts as

People who received alerts under the former system won’t notice an immediate difference, Newton said to Inside Iowa State. But in the future the campus plans to add a mobile app that turns a smartphone into a safety device, allowing users to call 911 with one touch and provide other improvements.

Newton said to Inside Iowa State that these features have been implemented at other institutions and could provide “increased capability and capacity.”

In addition to the ISU alert system, members of the Iowa State community can look to social media pages on Twitter and Facebook. Additionally, emergencies can be signalled through sirens and public announcements.

“As always, when you receive an alert, please follow the direction given,” Newton said to Inside Iowa State. “And if you’re at the scene of an emergency, remain calm and follow instructions from police. It takes all of us to make sure we have a safe and secure campus.”

For more information on the Rave alerts visit: