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College upgrades emergency alert system

By Mbololwa Mundia
On January 26, 2017

When the college needs to notify students, faculty and staff about campus closings it does so via a software application called Kirkwood Alert. 

The system sends emergency alerts, notifications and updates to any active participant of the campus who has signed up for the service. Individuals can choose to be notified by text, e-mail and/or phone. 

According to Senior Director of Emergency Services and Campus Security Melissa Jensen, Kirkwood Alert has been upgraded since it began in 2008.  

“Now operations are easier and we have one platform that is modified to the situation,” said Jensen. 

“We also have a variety of ways to reach out to everybody who has signed up.  You will receive a text message, an e-mail and a voice recording,” she added.  

Kirkwood Alert participants received their first round of alerts on Monday, Jan. 16, when an ice storm affected morning travel. Kelsey McKern, second year nursing student, said, “I think it’s fine I just don’t like when it goes off. I get two text messages and two emails but it’s nice knowing what’s going on campus so it fine.” 

Jensen said she encourages all students to sign up for Kirkwood Alert. “Signing up doesn’t cost anything and it is an easy way to find out what’s going on,” said Jensen. 

Andrew Mills, math instructor, said, “I think it’s valuable and a good idea to keep us informed. I’d rather know than not know.” 

Students, faculty, and staff can sign up by going to www.kirkwood.edu/alert. 

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