Kirkwood Alert

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is Kirkwood Alert?
  2. What is a Kirkwood Alert Account?
  3. How does Kirkwood Alert work?
  4. Who sends out alerts?
  5. What types of alerts will be sent?
  6. Will my cell phone work?
  7. What is text messaging and how do I sign up for it?
  8. How many devices/email addresses can I add to my account?
  9. How do I prevent SPAM filters from blocking my alerts?

What is Kirkwood Alert?
Kirkwood Alert is a software application used to send emergency alerts, notifications and updates to your cell phone, pager, BlackBerry, PDA and/or e-mail account. In the event of an emergency, such as a tornado or other critical situation, Kirkwood will be able to send important alerts and updates right to your cell phone or mobile device. All you have to do is sign up for a Kirkwood Alert account.

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What is a Kirkwood Alert Account
Each person may sign up for a Kirkwood Alert account. You can add multiple devices (cell phones, pagers, PDAs) to a Kirkwood Alert account. Alerts can be sent to all devices listed in your Kirkwood Alert account.

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How does Kirkwood Alert work?
In an emergency situation an alert will be sent by Kirkwood.  You may receive several text messages on your cell phone or mobile device. Read these messages promptly and follow the instructions.

Additional instructions may follow throughout the emergency situation so keep your phone near you. Even if the cell phones are busy, the messages should still come through to your phone.

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Who sends out alerts?
Kirkwood has designated several people to send out alerts. These alerts may go out to everyone or selected groups of individuals, depending on the type of alert.

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What types of alerts will be sent?
Alert types may include life safety, fire, weather, accidents involving utilities or roadways, team activation notifications, or other emergency notification. A few examples of the types of messages that can be sent through Kirkwood Alert are:

Emergency Situations:

  • Notify students,faculty, and staff of the location of the nearest emergency shelter, available bed space, hours of operation during a crisis;
  • Notify students, faculty, and staff of available evacuation routes during an emergency;
  • Activate special teams within Kirkwood, and the community, based upon an event

Precautionary Warnings:

  • Severe weather warnings;
  • Change in the Homeland Security Advisory System terror alert level
  • Pre-cautionary evacuation order if on high alert

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Will my cell phone work?
Kirkwood Alert uses the text messaging (SMS network) feature of your cell phone to deliver alerts. The alerts come across like a page on a pager. ALL cell phone carriers, and paging companies, offer text messaging. Nearly all phones purchased within the past few years are text messaging capable. If you are unsure, contact your carrier to ask about your phone and text messaging.

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What is text messaging and how do I sign up for it?
Text messages are short messages sent to your phone, similar to receiving a page. Each message contains between 100 and 160 characters, or about 10 words, depending upon your carrier. An example of a text message is the notification you receive on your phone when you have new voicemail.

Many carriers activate the service automatically. You should check with your carrier to make sure your text messaging is active. See the carrier matrix for a list of carriers and contact information.

Good links to learn how to read text messages on your phone include:

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How many devices/e-mail addresses can I add to my account?
You may have two devices and two e-mail addresses for your Kirkwood Alert account.

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How do I prevent SPAM filters from blocking my alerts?
Internet Service Providers (ISPs) utilize various methods to prevent unsolicited commercial e-mail (Junk mail or spam) from being delivered to users' mailboxes. Some of these methods may mistakenly classify Kirkwood Alert alerts as such and not deliver the alert to the recipient. Each ISP has different set of steps to follow to assure these alerts get delivered directly to the users' mailboxes. Typically the sender's domain name must be added to an address book or 'safe list'. To assure you receive Kirkwood Alert alert e-mail please add alert.kirkwood.edu to your address book or safe list. If you still have trouble, please contact Melissa Jensen via e-mail at melissa.jensen@kirkwood.edu.

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