Johns Hopkins on Thursday, Sept. 6, will activate a new
system to alert students, faculty and
staff by text message in the event of a major emergency that
threatens the lives or safety of
members of the campus community.
The Johns Hopkins Emergency Alerts system will be launched
at the Homewood/Eastern/Mount
Washington campuses and at the Peabody Institute. Other campuses
will be added shortly.
"Since the shootings at Virginia Tech last April, colleges
across the country have been looking at
how they would get the word out quickly in the event of a
similarly critical emergency," said Edmund
Skrodzki, executive director of safety and
security at Homewood.
"Johns Hopkins, like many others, has concluded that text
messaging is an important addition to
the other systems we already use to notify people during
emergencies," Skrodzki said.
"Text messages are short, but they are relatively rapid and
direct," he said. "If we ever have to
use the system, we will be able to get out an alert, some very
brief instructions on what to do and
advice on where to get more information as the crisis
To enroll in JHEA, students, faculty and staff must log into
the Johns Hopkins Enterprise
Directory, which is now a part of the my.johnshopkins.edu portal,
and provide their cell phone numbers.
They must also agree to the program's terms and conditions, which
include the responsibility to pay
their mobile service provider's usual charges for text messages
"But we want people to know that we intend to send text
messages only in the event of an
emergency involving an imminent potential threat to safety or,
rarely, for system tests," Skrodzki
said. "If the situation is critical enough for us to send a text
alert, you're going to want to pay the
charges in order to know the information."
Complete information on how to register for JHEA is
available online at
The campus security offices have been working with
Information Technology@Johns Hopkins
and the Office of Communications and Public Affairs to prepare
for JHEA's launch. IT@JH is also
working with a message aggregator to ensure that mobile phone
companies will accept a large number
of simultaneous text messages from Johns Hopkins as legitimate
alerts rather than spam.