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Frequently Asked Questions

DrexelALERT Logo

What is the DrexelALERT system?

DrexelALERT is a multi-modal emergency communications system through which time-sensitive emergency notifications may be sent via text-messaging, phone and email to Drexel University students, faculty and professional staff.

How will Drexel use the DrexelALERT system?

In the event of an emergency affecting the Drexel community, you can receive an emergency notification from the Department of Public Safety on your mobile phone (text messaging and/or voice messaging), an email to your Drexel email account and/or a voice message to your Drexel-owned landline phone. Depending upon the nature of the emergency, the system has the capacity to notify the entire Drexel community, or only the affected portion of the community.

How is an emergency defined?

A DrexelALERT is designed to provide emergency information regarding situations that constitute an ongoing threat to the Drexel community. Drexel's Department of Public Safety has created a comprehensive list of emergency scenarios. Most are based on threats that any campus could experience, such armed suspect on the loose, active fire or credible bomb threat.

Will I receive information other than emergency alerts from the DrexelALERT system? Will DrexelALERT be used to notify the community of weather-related closings?

Drexel University intends to use the DrexelALERT system only for emergency situations that constitute an ongoing threat to the safety of the Drexel community. The emergency notification system may be used for three additional types of advisories: 1) Public Safety ADVISORY is a message for incidents that may impact University operations, such as a facility power outage or traffic disruptions; 2) Public Health ADVISORY is a message regarding potential health concerns, such as the H1N1 virus or a meningitis outbreak; and 3) Campus Weather ADVISORY is a message announcing severe weather, such as a snowstorm, in which the University may delay or cancel classes and/or operations.

How will I receive an emergency notification?

Depending on the nature of the emergency, one or more methods of notification will be used, and may include a text message and/or voice message to your mobile phone, an email to your Drexel e-mail account, and a voice message to Drexel-owned landline phones.

Why do all DrexelALERTS messages contain the word “URGENT”?

In response to Federal Communications Commission requirements, mobile carriers require emergency notification system users to differentiate between emergency and operational SMS (text) messages. To comply with this requirement, DrexelALERT notifications begin with “DrexelAlert URGENT” followed by the message.

I do not have a mobile phone. How will I be notified by DrexelALERT?

All text message emergency notifications will be accompanied by an email to your Drexel University email account. Emergency notifications will also be posted on the Drexel and Public Safety websites.

Can I be contacted even if I am located at an off-campus location?

Yes. The DrexelALERT system can contact you through your mobile phone and your Drexel email account.

How do I enter my contact information for use by the DrexelALERT system?

Providing current information is the best way to ensure that you will be reached in the event of an emergency. At the start of each term, students, faculty and professional staff will be asked to confirm and update contact information when they log in to DrexelOne. Updates may be made at any time using DrexelOne by clicking the WELCOME tab and then the DrexelALERT link in the Safety, Security and Support section.

Please note: For new incoming students, you will begin to receive alerts approximately six weeks before the start of your first term.

Can I change my emergency contact information?

Yes. At the start of each term, students, faculty and professional staff will be required to update their DrexelALERT contact information through DrexelOne. However, your contact information can be updated anytime by logging in to DrexelOne and changing your emergency contact information by following the link to update DrexelALERT contact information under the Safety, Security and Support section.

Will Drexel correct my personal contact information if it is incorrect?

Drexel cannot verify the accuracy of the contact information you enter. It is your responsibility to check and edit your information as necessary to ensure that the information available to DrexelALERT is accurate and up-to-date.

Can I opt out of the DrexelALERT system?

No. Communication via the DrexelALERT system is a critical component of Drexel's emergency notification strategy. If you are a student, faculty or professional staff member, messages from DrexelALERT to your Drexel email account and voice messages to all Drexel landline phones will be automatic. In addition, at the start of each term, in order to access the DrexelOne portal, information regarding mobile phone numbers will be requested from students, faculty and professional staff.

What should I do if I receive an emergency email or voice or text message from DrexelALERT?

If you receive an emergency message from DrexelALERT, do the following:

  1. Listen to or read the ENTIRE message.
  2. Take the message seriously.
  3. Follow any instructions given in the message.
  4. For additional information, as it becomes available, go to:

Please note that wireless carriers handle text messages differently. Because of this, you may receive the text message in multiple parts. They may also not be in the correct order. Make sure you have read all parts of the message before taking action.

How do I know that my DrexelALERT contact information will be secure?

Drexel has selected the services of a contracted emergency notifications vendor, to assist Drexel in the implementation of the DrexelALERT system. The contact information that you enter into DrexelOne will be provided to our vendor for the sole purpose of notifying you in the event of an emergency. Our contract vendor does not have the right to sell, disclose or trade your contact information.

Only individuals employed by Drexel who must use this information to administer and manage the DrexelALERT system will also have access to your contact information. No other access will be allowed except as maybe required by law.

Will I receive unsolicited messages ("SPAM") on my mobile phone or email account as a result of giving my mobile phone number to Drexel?

No. The DrexelALERT system has a rigid security policy in which authorized personnel ONLY are permitted to send messages using the DrexelALERT system in the case of an emergency. The DrexelALERT system adheres strictly to a ZERO SPAM policy that clearly prohibits unsolicited messages. Furthermore, Drexel cannot and will not sell or otherwise distribute the contact information collected for the DrexelALERT system to third party marketers.

Can my parents or other family members receive emergency notifications from the DrexelALERT system?

No. At this time, the DrexelALERT system is only available to currently enrolled students, and faculty and staff employed with Drexel University.

Will Drexel be testing the DrexelALERT system?

Yes. The Department of Public Safety, in conjunction with our contract vendor will periodically conduct emergency drills using the DrexelALERT system. The Drexel University community will be notified by email in advance of all emergency tests and drills.

Is there a charge for subscribing to receive emergency messages via the DrexelALERT system?

No. There is no charge for the DrexelALERT service from Drexel. Depending on your mobile phone service provider and the plan you have, you may be charged a nominal fee (as established by the provider) to receive SMS text messages. For those with unlimited text messaging plans, there would be no additional charge.

Do I need to install software on my mobile phone to receive text messages or emails?

No. The DrexelALERT system, as designed by our contracted vendor,  uses a standard industry SMS text messaging protocol to send messages to your phone. Your mobile phone plan will need to accept text messages to work properly.

When will you deactivate my subscription to the DrexelALERT system?

Your contact information will be removed from the DrexelALERT system when your affiliation with Drexel terminates (e.g., graduation for students, change in employment status for faculty and professional staff).

If I switch mobile phone service providers, do I have to notify Drexel that I have changed providers, even though my mobile phone number remains the same?

The DrexelALERT system will automatically transfer your contact information from one service provider to the next, provided that you maintain the same mobile phone number. If your mobile phone number changes, you are responsible for providing your most current number through DrexelOne.

I did not receive a message from DrexelALERT, even though others did, and I submitted my information. What should I do?

  1. Log in to DrexelOne and click the tab WELCOME tab and then the DrexelALERT link in the Safety, Security and Support section. Confirm that the mobile phone number you have registered is correctly entered into the DrexelALERT system.
  2. Contact your mobile phone service provider to make sure that your voice and text messaging service is operating properly and that there were no service disturbances in your service area.
  3. Make sure your phone is working properly by conducting a test with a friend or an associate.
  4. If you have completed all of the above and there is no apparent reason why your mobile phone did not receive the DrexelALERT, email the Department of Public Safety with your full name and mobile phone number and it will be investigated.
    (Note: Some mobile services may filter or reject mass massages as if the messages were spam. If this is the case, this is out of the control of Drexel and is an issue to be discussed with your mobile service provider.)

Who is authorized to send messages out using the DrexelALERT system?

Messages will be sent under the authorization of Drexel senior management.

What other means will be used by Drexel to communicate emergency information?

The DrexelALERT system provides our students, faculty and professional staff with an additional layer of security and protection in emergency response, in conjunction with our already well-established communication methods, which include: university-wide broadcast emails, online updates via the Drexel and Department of Public Safety homepages, as well as coordinated use of public media outlets.

What else should I know about emergency preparedness?

As always, we strive to keep Drexel a safe place, however, emergencies and disasters can always occur. Therefore, Drexel has developed a comprehensive emergency preparedness plan.