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The newspaper of The Johns Hopkins University November 26, 2007 | Vol. 37 No. 12
Emergency Alerts Text Messaging System to be Tested

By Dennis O'Shea

On Friday, Nov. 30, you may receive an emergency text message.

Remember: This is only a test.

The Johns Hopkins Emergency Alerts system is conducting its first large-scale test that afternoon, sending a message to cell phones and mobile devices registered for JHEA users at the Homewood, Eastern, Mount Washington and Peabody campuses.

JHEA was launched in early September to give university security offices a fast way to alert students, faculty and staff that a potentially life-threatening emergency is under way.

In a real emergency, security would send a text message to all JHEA-registered phones, giving users critical early warning on what was happening and where. Since text messages can be no more than 160 characters, the alert would also tell users where to get more information, on, for instance, the university's telephone hot line or Web site.

The Nov. 30 message will be clearly labeled as a test. It will go to all registered users on the four campuses, currently numbering about 1,600 students and 800 faculty, staff and others. Arrangements are being made in advance with several hundred users to report back to the test organizers whether or not they received the message and, if so, when.

Members of the university community can still register for JHEA in time for the test. Log on to the portal, go to the myJhed tab, click on "update your Emergency Alert information" and provide your cell phone number. You must agree to the program's terms and conditions, which include the responsibility to pay your mobile service provider's usual charges, if any, for text messages received.

Complete information on how to register for JHEA is available online at


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