Emergency notification is based on the desire to inform people about dangerous situations that may have serious impacts. Notifying individuals of dangerous situations allows people to take action to protect themselves and the people around them.
The University of Georgia (UGA) Office of Emergency Preparedness (OEP) is responsible for many facets of emergency notification on the UGA campus. The UGA Emergency Notification Plan is a summary of the methods used at the UGA by OEP and other campus partners to notify the campus community of an emergency. The plan emphasizes redundant forms of notification. Some notification methods in the plan are passive in that no planning is needed on the part of the community member, however; several methods require students, faculty and staff to register for a service.
An Emergency Notification Advisory Committee assists the Office of Emergency Preparedness in determining the most appropriate methods of notification to reach the campus community. This committee provides feedback and suggestions on how to best reach the campus population and gives advice on what types of notification should be included.
The most widely publicized notification system is UGAAlert. The system uses voice phone calls, text messages, and emails to inform the community about an incident. UGAAlert is complemented by many other systems such as outdoor warning sirens, UGA cablevision screen capture, NOAA weather radios, the main UGA home page, RSS feeds, UGAAlert Desktop Alerting, and other systems.
It is important to note two disclaimers associated with this plan. The first is that this document is not a crisis communication plan. The UGA Crisis Communication Plan is managed by the UGA Office of Public Affairs. Secondly, this plan merely mentions ―Timely Warnings as prescribed under the Jeanne Clery Act. Under the Jeanne Clery Act, institutions must make timely warnings to the campus community about crimes that pose on ongoing threat to students and employees. Timely warnings are handled and issued by the UGA Police Department. More information may be found at http://www.police.uga.edu/news/.
In addition, there are two versions of the UGA Emergency Notification Plan, a public version and a confidential version. The confidential version of the plan contains specific emergency system activation procedures for the Griffin and the Gwinnett campuses and emergency contact numbers for several campus administrators. The confidential version of the plan is not widely distributed.