Published: May 9, 2007
Just in time for hurricane season, The University of Tampa will launch
an emergency text messaging service that alerts students, faculty and
staff in campus emergencies.
“Text messaging is one of the
fastest and most reliable methods available to contact University
community members in an emergency situation,” said Rod Plowman, vice
president of administrative services. “We've determined that our
students—the most difficult group to reach—carry cell phones with them
at all times, and text messaging is their preferred communication
SMART—Spartan Mobile AleRT—allows messages to get
through when phone calls will not and access to computers is limited.
Messages are sent directly to registered users’ cell phones. Users will
not receive advertisements, and their numbers will not be sold or given
The optional service is free, but cell phone customers
will pay their usual rate for receiving text messages. They can
discontinue the service at any time. To sign up, a customer simply calls
from a cell phone and enters an access code that will be provided to
students, faculty and staff. The process should take less than a minute
The new service adds to the University’s many
existing modes of information dissemination, including global e-mails,
global voicemails, the school Web site, flyers and face-to-face
communication. Messages can be sent to thousands of cell phone numbers
within minutes, according to Ready Alert, the company providing the
“We've been testing the Ready Alert service for the
last several months and are impressed with both the system and the
company's commitment to its customers,” Plowman said.
Alert’s customers include the U.S. Coast Guard, All Children’s Hospital
and Pinellas County Emergency Management. For more information on the
service, visit www.readyalert.com, or http://ut.edu/safety.