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General FAQs for UTHealth ALERT: Emergency Notification System
What is UTHealthALERT?
UTHealthALERT is a text message emergency notification system. UTHealth has contracted with Everbridge, an electronic mass communications system vendor, to provide the UTHealth emergency team and UT Police Department (UTPD) the capability of rapidly notifying the campus community through text messaging about events of imminent threat, crisis or harm.
When will it be used?
During the event of an imminent threat, crisis or harm; such as shooter on campus, armed intruder, imminent weather emergencies (tornado), or university status updates due to weather. The process will include an initial text message with information about the threat with instruction you should follow to protect yourself.
Armed intruder at XYZ Building; shelter in place Once the threat has passed an ALL CLEAR text message will be sent out.
Will UTHealthALERT cost me anything?
Charges for receiving text messages will depend on your wireless provider and plan. Contact your wireless provider for more information.
What should I do when I get an alert?
Follow the directions communicated in the alert. Emergency updates will also be posted at www.uthealthemergency.org as they become available.
An ALL CLEAR text message will signal a resolution to the threatening event.
Where will I be able to get more information during an emergency?
All other standard channels of emergency information will be employed as well: email, building TV monitors and in some instances the building fire announcement system.
If I provide my cell phone information, will that information be subject to open records requests?
Once the University has information, it is subject to possible disclosure under the Texas Public Information Act.
State law, however, allows employees to make an election to keep certain information, including personal mobile telephone numbers, private. Employees may view their current election in Employee Self Service and may change their election by submitting the Public Access Option Form to Human Resources.
Similarly, the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act provides a method for students to elect to keep directory information, which the University has defined to include telephone numbers, private. Students may file an objection to the release of directory information with the Office of the Registrar through the Student Privacy Notice.
I do not have text on my phone. Why can’t I receive a call or email?
Currently, through UTHealthALERT we will be using only texting -- the most expedient method to alert the largest number of people in the shortest amount of time. In addition to the UTHealthALERT texting process, the university will continue to use established emergency communication methods: email, building TV monitors, the university emergency website and in some instances the building fire announcement system.
I have a UTHealth guest account. How do I provide my cell phone number to the UTHealthALERT system?
Existing guests will be notified via email in the coming weeks with instructions on how to add their information to the guest system for UTHealthALERT.
For new guests, cell phone number will be entered into the guest system as part of the initial guest account setup.
I am a UTHealth resident. How do I provide my cell phone number to the UTHealthALERT system?
Existing residents will be notified via email in the coming weeks with instructions on how to add or update their information resident database for UTHealthALERT.
For new residents, your cell phone number is already collected as part of the resident on-boarding process.
I have limited cell reception in the UTHealth building where I work, how will I be alerted of an imminent threat?
In addition to the UTHealthALERT texting process, the university will continue to use established emergency communication methods: email, building TV monitors, the university emergency website and in some instances the building fire announcement system.
How can I keep the information I provide confidential?
Internally, the information that you provide will be maintained within the University with the same internal accessibility and potential use as your existing contact information. With regard to open records, please see FAQ #6, above.
How do I sign up?
For Employees – Self Service Instructions To add or update a Personal Cell Phone Number
Under My Personal Information, click on Phone Numbers
Once you are on the Phone Numbers page, you can click on the Add a Phone Number button and a new line will appear.
On the new line click the drop down box under the Phone Type column, select Mobile and then type in your phone number. When typing, simply enter the numbers – the system will automatically add any dashes or slashes to keep all numbers consistent.
A Save Confirmation notice will appear and you can click OK. Your new phone number has been added.
For Students – myUTH Instructions To add or update a Personal Cell Phone Number Log into myUTH and navigate to the Student Center.
Select “Phone Numbers” from the drop down list in the Personal Information section and click the >> button. A list of phone numbers will appear.
If a Phone Type of UTH Alert is listed, edit the phone number by clicking on the phone number. Click the “Save” button when edits are complete.
If a UTH Alert phone number does not exist, add one by selected the “Add A Phone Number” button.
A new row will appear. Select UTH Alert from the Phone Type drop down list and enter the phone number in the appropriate field.
For Residents and Clinical Fellows – GMEIS Instructions To add or update a Personal Cell Phone Number, Pager, Personal Email Address:
If you elect to “opt out” of receiving emergency alerts, check the “opt out” box.
If you elect to receive emergency alerts, enter your cell phone (in the format xxx-xxx-xxxx)
Does UTHealthALERT support all cell phone networks?
Yes. All cell phone networks and carriers are supported by UTHealthALERT. Instructions for updating your cell number are provided in FAQ 12.
Do I need to install software on my phone to receive UTHealth ALERT messages?
No. However your cell phone must be able to accept text messages. If you do not receive the confirmation test message on the date(s) specified, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Can I change my mobile phone number if I get a new number?
Yes. Change your number via the same process you used to initially submit your cell phone number. These systems will be synchronized with UTHealthALERT on a regular basis.
Who sends out the alert?
In most cases UT Police Department will initiate a UTHealthALERT. In an imminent weather emergency (tornado) or hazardous material release (i.e. chemical spill) the Department of Safety, Health, Environment & Risk Management will initiate the alert.
Will we get a test message?
Yes, test dates will be announced ahead of time. You will receive information about the testing, what it will look like on your cell phone and when it will occur.
How do I know the difference between a test text and a real message?
You will receive information about the testing, what it will look like on your cell phone and when it will occur. In addition, test text messages will be clearly labeled as a test.
What if I don’t receive that the test text message?
First, confirm with your cell phone provider that you indeed have texting capability. Next, confirm your contact information in the appropriate information system (Employee SelfServe, myUTH, etc.) If all information seems to be correct and verified, contact UTHealthalert@uth.tmc.edu .