Nowadays, emergency preparedness on a University campus presents many across the board challenges. A campus environment includes not only an extremely large geographical area, but a continuously changing population. At The University of New Mexico, these challenges are magnified given its location within the city of Albuquerque.
The goal of emergency planning is to protect people as well as the institution’s operations such as research, athletic and entertainment events, food services, housing and transportation. Each and every member of the campus community has a responsibility for safety and security at UNM. Faculty, staff and students can all contribute to campus safety and preparedness by becoming informed, staying alert and using good judgment. By preparing together, we are creating a safer campus for all.
With the beginning of the spring semester now underway, UNM’s Emergency Management team would like to remind you of its emergency response preparedness, capabilities and procedures.
UNM uses several mediums to notify the campus in the event of an emergency. LoboAlerts is the University's emergency text messaging system.
“While it is the primary system utilized by the University, LoboAlerts is just one piece of the multi-faceted, campus notification system used to provide safety and inclement weather alerts, and notification of events which have the potential to threaten the University's ability to conduct regular activities,” said Byron Piatt, UNM emergency manager. “The system also includes a warning siren, email alerts, and web page updates.”
How LoboAlerts works
LoboAlerts is an opt-out campuswide text messaging and email system for all faculty, staff and registered students, UNM affiliates and all UNMH employees. On average, text messages are delivered 10 times faster than the e-mail messages. However, the timeliness of text message receipt can vary based upon type of phone, carrier, location, battery strength. The timing of text messages also depends on when an incident is reported, so if you see something, say something immediately. Don’t wait for someone else to do so.
Each of these groups are automatically enrolled when individuals become part of the UNM community. Initially, user information is fed into the system through Banner. Thereafter, system users maintain their user information which includes an active cell phone number for text messages and or email address for email notification. Users may opt out of one, but not both of the mediums. Additionally, each semester all users should review their contact information, update if necessary, and add additional contact information as needed.
“This is why it’s important for users to update their personal information on a regular basis,” said Piatt. “Users often change cell phone carriers and or email addresses without thinking about all the various places information needs to be updated. Instances such as these occur frequently and prevent users from receiving important and timely information when an emergency or inclement weather situation arises.”
The LoboAlerts system can store and contact up to three cell phones and three e-mail addresses per user. Piatt suggests that individuals also add the numbers 26787 and 67283 to their address books as LoboAlerts. The numbers are the common short codes used by the system to send the messages.
“It is helpful to see a text message coming from "LoboAlerts" rather than some unknown number,” Piatt added.
At the same time text and e-mail messages are being delivered, alerts will appear on campus websites at the top of each page and also social media sites including LoboAlerts Facebook and LoboAlerts Twitter pages.
Non-UNM persons who work on campus, live in nearby communities, or otherwise have an interest in receiving emergency notifications can also receive LoboAlerts by creating their own account on the LoboAlerts Community site. The same messages that go out via the main LoboAlerts account also go to the LoboAlerts community site warning individuals who live in the area of a situation involving an emergency or weather-related alert.
UNM is committed to offering services, information, resources and tools to offer a safe campus to all students, staff, faculty, and visitors. For more information regarding UNM’s safety and emergency practices, visit the Campus Safety website and also, Campus Preparedness.
Finally, if you have any information regarding any campus incident, if you witness or notice any suspicious behavior, contact the UNM Police Department at 505.277.2241.