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Policy 5606

Emergency Text Messaging Alert System

I. Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to provide guidelines for the use of the Longwood University Emergency Text Messaging alert system.

II. Application

Longwood University is committed to providing a comprehensive emergency alert system that will provide timely emergency communication in the event of local or community emergency. The use of the Emergency Text Messaging system is intended to provide a fast and efficient means of notifying the Longwood University community of an imminent and verifiable crisis event.

As part of its Emergency Operations Plan, Longwood University has established the Longwood Emergency Notification System that consists of four major components:

  1. Siren and Voice Alert System
  2. Text Message Alert System (maximum 100 characters including spaces
  3. Email Alert System
  4. Crisis and Emergency Communication Website

III.  Policy

The University will utilize the Emergency Alert System in the event of any emergency that poses an imminent verifiable threat to the life safety of our students, faculty, staff, and visitors.

The Longwood University Police Department will evaluate a potential threat and categorize the situation according to a three level, graduated color-coded threat condition. Upon assessment the appropriate methods of communication alert information will be disseminated at the defined level.

Threat Level Alert 1: Code Red (SEVERE RISK)

Based on a high level of verifiability and credibility, Threat Level 1 poses an imminent and severe risk of danger to the safety and security of the campus community and may result in a campus closure or building lockdown.

Example:  Active Shooter, Tornado, Hazmat, Fire in Campus Building.

Alert Actions:

  1. Siren and Voice Alert activated by LUPD
  2. Text Message activated by LUPD (all who have signed up to receive)
  3. E-mail message activated by LUPD (all who have signed up to receive)
  4. Activation of the Longwood Crisis and Emergency Communication website (http://www.longwood.edu/crisiscomm/) activated by the Office of Public Relations
    1. Longwood.edu automatically redirects visitors to the Crisis and Emergency Communication website
    2. Updates and/or links will also be posted on Longwood's official Twitter and Facebook pages
    3. CATV message initiated
  5. Subsequent texts and emails may be sent with updates that will be posted on the website.

Threat Level Alert 2: Code Orange (High Risk)

Based on the level of verifiability, Threat Level 2 poses a potentially HIGH risk of danger to the campus community. The threat may be verified or unconfirmed and presents potential danger to the campus community. This incident could be elevated to Threat Level 1 with more verifiable information. This possible threat may result in closing of the University due to the conditions.

Example:  Hurricane/Tornado Warning, Town Event, Person with Gun Seen in Area.

Alert Actions:

  1. Text and Email messages activated by LUPD to all who have signed up to receive
    1. Key Cabinet members notified by LUPD
    2. Meeting of Senior Management Crisis Team may be called
    3. Additional Email message to faculty, staff and students by the Office of Public Relations
  2. Posting on Longwood Crisis and Emergency Communication website
    1. Updates and/or links will also be posted on Longwood's official Twitter and Facebook pages

Threat Level Alert 3: Code Yellow (ELEVATED RISK)

Based on the level of verifiability, Threat Level 3 presents a significant and elevated risk of danger to the campus community. A possible threat that may pose danger to the campus community may result in closing of the University.

Example: Weather Announcements from National Weather Service, Closing of University Due to Snow or Other Weather Conditions, Pandemic. (See University Policy 7302)

Alert Actions:

  1. Email Message to Faculty, Staff and Students by Office of Public Relations
  2. Posting on Longwood Crisis and Emergency Communication website
    1. Including an announcement on Longwood.edu, e.g., "Longwood Closed Due to Weather"
    2. Updates and/or links will also be posted on Longwood's official Twitter and Facebook pages.

If an emergency event occurs that requires the activation of the Emergency Alert System, every attempt will be made to notify the following personnel prior to its activation:

  1. The President
  2. Members of the Cabinet
  3. Chief of Police or Designee
  4. Director of Environmental Health, Safety and Emergency Management 
  5. Town of Farmville


Approved by the Board of Visitors, December 2, 2011.
Approved by the Board of Visitors, December 07, 2007.