USU to Send Code Blue to Test New Campus Alert System

Students and employees at Utah State University will receive a Code Blue test message at 10 a.m., Wednesday, Jan. 15, as part of a campus-wide test of the university’s emergency notification system. 

USU contracted with a new vendor in the summer of 2019 to provide an emergency notification system with greater functionality. The new vendor also provides USU’s new Utah State Safe app available to all students and employees on campuses throughout the state. 

“In times of an emergency, we want to make sure everyone in the campus community is alerted and knows what to do,” said Ellis Bruch, USU’s director of emergency management. 

Not every spot on campus has reliable cell service or WIFI, and university officials send notifications out through multiple channels to ensure everyone receives alerts in at least one way.

“Everyone should make sure their contact preferences are updated in the USU system, as well as download the Utah State Safe app onto their phone,” said Bruch.

USU sends three types of campus alerts through the system:

  • Emergency notifications are sent when a significant emergency or dangerous situation poses an immediate threat to the health and safety of students and employees on a campus. These are referred to as “Code Blue” alerts and are sent in situations of a dangerous weather event, a gas leak, or if a campus was threatened by an armed aggressor. 
  • Crime alerts, or timely warning notices, are sent when there is a potentially dangerous criminal situation on campus that poses an ongoing threat. These alerts provide information to help community members prevent future crime.
  • Safety alerts are sent when there is a safety concern that could affect the campus community, including a closure due to snow.  

The test message will go out to students and employees on all USU email addresses (or preferred email addresses) through all mobile numbers an individual has set up in their USU account at myid.usu.edu, and as a push notification in the Utah State Safe app. Additionally, anyone who has opted in to get text messages through the system at alert.usu.edu will receive the test. 

“This is the first system-wide test of the system, and we really want to make sure any potential bugs are worked out before we might need the system for an actual emergency,” Bruch said. 

More information about campus alerts and how to change contact preferences is available at alert.usu.edu.