99 percent warned as part of ENN test

Subhead: 79,000 messages sent out as part of ENN test

Last Thursday, the University of Miami conducted its third annual, full-scale test of its Emergency Notification Network. Students received cell phone and e-mail alerts as part of this assessment.

This year, the test involved an undisclosed activation date and time intended to create a more realistic test.

According to the preliminary data from the UM Police Department, the test resulted in over 79,000 e-mails, text messages, and phone calls to all the members registered in the system.

Approximately 49 percent of the participants received at least one alert within the first 10 minutes, and 99 percent within the first 20 minutes.

“It’s the cellular technology that limits us from notifying everyone immediately,” Chief of Police David Rivero said. “But everyone should receive a notification within 15 to 20 minutes.”

He also said that in a real situation, the message will identify the type of emergency the university is experiencing and the actions the community needs to take to remain safe.

“I think every time you do these tests, you learn something new, particularly in light of recent events,” vice president for student affairs Patricia A. Whitely said. “People really have to pay attention to what the message says and make sure they follow it.”

Although there was a small amount of lag time between the actual ENN activation time, 12:15 p.m., and when some participants received their first alert, most students felt satisfied with the effectiveness of the system.

“It’s great because everyone checks their phones and texting is the fastest way to get to the greatest amount of people–everyone would know that there is an emergency,” junior Varsha Sinha said.

To ensure delivery of future ENN messages in case of a real emergency, register or update your contact information on myUM.

September 27, 2009


Heather Carney

Contributing News Writer

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The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly on Thursdays during the regular academic year.