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Frequently Asked Questions

The UMD Alerts System is a mass, urgent notification system. The University of Maryland Police Department (UMPD) will notify the campus community of a significant emergency or dangerous situation or an incident that is affecting the campus community. Depending upon the incident you will receive either text messages and email or just an email. When receiving text messages, read these messages promptly and follow the instructions. Additional instructions may follow throughout the emergency.  Once the incident has stabilized and there is no longer a threat to the university community, UMPD will send out a “Last Message” message.

The UMD Alerts System is a mass, urgent notification system, comprised of a variety of methods by which the University can notify students, faculty and staff of an active, major campus emergency:

  • UMD EMERGENCY ALERTS (Text and Email)
    When there is a significant emergency or a dangerous situation that is occurring on or near campus that poses an immediate threat to the health or safety of our campus community a UMD Alert text message and email will be sent. If the incident occurs off-campus, a UMD Community Alert will be sent. Examples of when an emergency alert may be issued include:
    • When a tornado or other dangerous weather event is predicted to strike the campus area.
    • When a major hazardous material spill is impacting a large portion of campus.
    • When a person is actively shooting a weapon on campus or a bomb threat that police believe is credible enough to take precautions.
    • Other kinds of significant emergencies on or near campus where emergency alerts will be helpful.
  • UMD ADVISORY (Text and Email)
    When there is important information about things affecting the campus community, an Informational Advisory will be issued via UMD Alerts. Examples include (but not limited to):
    • Weather related campus closure or delayed opening.
    • Event/Incident widely affecting campus operations.
    When there is important information about a crime or incident which poses an ongoing risk to the safety of University community members, UMPD will issue a "UMD Safety Notice" for on-campus. If the incident occurred off-campus, UMPD will issue a "UMD Community Notice." UMD Safety Notices or UMD Community Notices are NOT intended to serve as emergency alerts. They are meant to provide information to the UMD community and to raise awareness. UMD Safety Notices and UMD Community Notices are issued to UMD Students, Faculty and Staff via email only (to the email account associated with the directory ID). Examples of when a UMD Safety Notice may be sent include:
    • When an armed robbery occurs on or near the UMD campus and the perpetrator has not been identified or apprehended.
    • If a series of a particular crime occurs in a specific area, such as a rash of thefts from vehicles in a parking lot or several thefts from residence hall rooms in a building or cluster of buildings (i.e., high rise community, south campus, etc.)
  • The exact number of UMD Alerts messages is difficult to predict. The purpose is to alert you only to emergency situations in which there is an imminent threat to public safety.  There will be a test of the UMD Alert system on the first Wednesday of every month at 11:55 a.m. in conjunction with a test of the Early Warning Siren system.

    UMD Alerts uses the text messaging (SMS network) feature of your cell phone to deliver alerts. To ensure you will receive UMD Alert text messages, be sure that your carrier allows messages from “short codes". Short codes must be enabled on your mobile device carrier's account in order to receive SMS messages from UMD Alerts.

    Messages will be sent from and email address with the domain "". Please add this domain to your safe senders list to ensure you will receive the email content.

    Internet Service Providers (ISPs) utilize various methods to prevent unsolicited commercial e-mail (Junk mail or spam) from being delivered to users' mailboxes. Some of these methods may mistakenly classify UMD Alerts emails as such and not deliver the content to the recipient. Each ISP has different set of steps to follow to assure these alerts get delivered directly to the users' mailboxes. Typically the sender's domain name must be added to an address book or 'safe list'. If you still have trouble, please contact the helpdesk via the link or reach us at 301-405-1500.

    If you are having trouble registering or changing your contact information, please contact the UMD HelpDesk via the link or via phone at 301-405-1500

    UMD students, faculty and staff are added to the UMD Alerts system on a bimonthly basis. You information will be imported from campus systems during the next import, which occur during the first and third week of each month.

    UMD community members are encouraged to remain registered to receive text(sms) alerts. Users may opt out of alerts by logging into and clicking the “Login and Edit Your Settings” button at the bottom of the page. & Once you have logged in using your UMD credentials, you can click the edit button and toggle the ‘Receive Notifications’ button to off as demonstrated below.

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