Maroon Alert system provides info in emergencies


February 21, 2014

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During this time of the year, weather becomes more of a factor in our day-to-day lives at Mississippi State University. The Maroon Alert system is how we communicate with the campus community about emergency situations that may arise on campus. Please take a few minutes to read the information below.

Maroon Alert is MSU's emergency communication system.

Maroon Alert is a family of communication outlets to communicate about emergency situations. In most situations the primary means of communication are web, e-mail, Twitter via @maroonalert and sometimes instant messaging.

Typically, the website is used in two ways.

Advisories (non-emergencies) are posted to the MSU website using a blue banner.

Emergencies requiring immediate action are highlighted with a yellow banner. Should the university declare a campus emergency, the yellow banner will appear on top of the MSU website.

Full emergency information can be found at www.emergency.msstate.edu on the MSU website.

Those with smart phones or computers have access to the most up-to-date and real time information that MSU is communicating to campus via the MSU emergency website. There also is a mobile friendly version of the emergency webpage and members of the university community are encouraged to add it as a bookmark in their smartphone browser or mobile device -- http://www.emergency.msstate.edu/mobile.php

Other Maroon Alert communication tools include campus radio station WMSV, local cable channel (MSTV-98), and local media outlets. MSU also will make use of weather sirens and announcements on loudspeakers around campus, as well as the university's official Maroon Alert social media -- @maroonalert.

Please note that text messaging is typically used only if there is imminent danger to campus requiring immediate action.

The university has recently added additional functionally with the ALERT FM smartphone application for Apple iOS and Google Android devices.

The ALERT FM App will allow you to receive Maroon Alert information on your smartphone or tablet via push notifications. This app can also provide you with weather information including watches and warnings for the area pushed right to your device, current and extended weather forecasts, and within 5 minute current radar with map overlays.

To download the ALERT FM App, please visit the Apple App store or the Google Play store. After download, please follow the steps below to set up the App for Maroon Alert:

When prompted to enter a zip code, please enter 39762. Select Mississippi State University and press "done."

Your ALERT FM App should now be branded Maroon Alert.

If you experience any problems setting your ALERT FM App up for Maroon Alerts, please call ALERT FM customer support at 1-866-869-5180.

There are some Maroon Alert terms everyone should know:

-- Seek safety. In a weather-related emergency this typically means to find an indoor space, preferably an interior room or hallway away from windows, or the lowest interior level of a building and seek shelter there. In event of a shooter on campus or gas or chemical leak, this typically means to seek a safe location as far away as possible from the danger or to exit campus on foot if possible.

-- Tornado watch. Conditions are favorable for tornadoes to develop, but there has not been an actual sighting. Be alert to changing conditions.

-- Tornado warning. A tornado has been sighted. Take immediate actions for safety.

When you hear a siren, it is imperative to seek shelter in the nearest building and stay alert and tune to either MSU webpage or local news to stay updated about changing conditions.

Do not go to your vehicle during a weather siren. Vehicles do not provide adequate shelter, and roadways need to be kept clear for use by police and emergency responders. Instead, seek shelter on the bottom floor of a building. If possible, choose a basement or interior hallway. Again, if sirens sound, seek shelter until Maroon Alert communications (via e-mail, text, Groupwise Messenger or emergency webpage) indicate it is safe to return to normal activities.

Because weather conditions can change suddenly, sirens may be used more than once during a weather-related emergency. Sirens will never be activated to signal an "all clear." Each time the siren sounds this indicates a new alert and that campus is still in some type of dangerous situation.

For more information about what to do during specific emergencies, see
http://www.emergency.msstate.edu/whattodo.