AU ALERT FAQ provides answers to frequently asked questions about your information, how notifications will be sent, and supported features.

What is AU ALERT?

AU ALERT is a robust emergency notification system designed to communicate time-sensitive emergency messages in a number of ways in an effort to alert all students, employees and visitors about potentially dangerous situations.  Some of the components of the AU ALERT system include text, voice and e-mail messages; outdoor warning sirens; indoor public address; and desktop alerting.  To learn more about these and other components, visit the main AU ALERT webpage.

Auburn University students and employees have the ability to subscribe to alerts via three methods: text and voice messages to up to three mobile phones; voice messages to up to three "voice only" phones; and e-mail messages to up to three e-mail addresses (including their Auburn University e-mail address, which cannot be removed).  Active Auburn University e-mail addresses and university-provided cell phones are pre-populated in the system.  Emergency messages are sent via a system provided by Rave Mobile Safety.

Regardless of how you receive the message, please take all emergency messages seriously and follow the instructions given.

Who implements AU ALERT?

AU ALERT is managed by the Auburn University Department of Public Safety and Security, in conjunction with the Offices of the Executive Vice President, Communications and Marketing, and Information Technology.  Questions regarding the AU ALERT system should be directed to Public Safety and Security at (334) 844-8888 or

What kind of alerts will be sent?

The system will only be used to distribute information regarding emergencies that require immediate action or to convey critical, time-sensitive information.

Examples of situations when AU ALERT may be activated include severe weather (tornado warnings or other significant weather events), large scale building evacuations, dangers requiring lockdown or shelter-in-place, or other emergencies requiring immediate action.  The message will specify what action to take or where to go for further information.  Following an alert, the system may be used to provide additional messages or an "all clear" announcement.  AU ALERT will also be tested at least twice per year in Fall and Spring semesters.  System tests will be announced in advance via This Week @ AU and Auburn Daily.

Less urgent messages including timely warnings of crimes may be sent using the campus advisory e-mail system (This Week @ AU for students and Auburn Daily for employees).

Where can I find additional information about emergency procedures or emergency situations?

Information about existing emergency procedures and emergency preparedness is posted on the university's Emergency Management webpage.  During an emergency, details and updated information regarding the specific emergency will be provided on the Auburn University home page as well as the Emergency Management webpage


Text, Voice and E-mail Messages

Why should I sign up for the AU ALERT voice and text message components?

Because students and employees are constantly on the move, this system provides the flexibility for you to receive emergency messages on multiple devices.  AU ALERT will be used to distribute important information regarding emergencies that dictate immediate action and to convey critical, time-sensitive information.  Voice and text messages are some of the fastest ways to reach you, regardless of where you are.

Who can sign up for AU ALERT voice and text messages?

All Auburn University students, employees and affiliates (such as contractors and Federal agency employees doing business on campus) are able to sign up to receive text, voice and e-mail message alerts.  You will need to use your Auburn University user ID and password to log on to AU Access and enter the AU ALERT dashboard (located on the Campus Life tab). 

While those at locations beyond the main campus may sign up for alerts, messages will primarily focus on possible threats to the main campus location.  If you spend time on the main campus, you are strongly encouraged to sign up.  If you are located beyond the main campus location, you should continue to rely on local emergency notification systems for site-specific warnings.

Parents cannot directly register, but are encouraged to connect with AU ALERT via one of our social media accounts on Facebook or Twitter.

Individuals who do not have a valid Auburn University user account but would like to participate in AU ALERT should complete the manual registration form and submit it via one of the ways listed on the form.

Will I receive AU ALERT messages if I don't sign up through the AU ALERT dashboard in AU Access?

If you do not sign up with AU ALERT, you will still receive emergency messages via your official campus e-mail address.  However, you will not receive text or voice messages.  Auburn University requires that you either provide at least one phone number in the system or that you opt-out from receiving text or voice notifications.  Any contact information you provide will only be used for emergency notifications and will not be shared outside of the university.

How does AU ALERT work?

AU ALERT's voice, text and e-mail system is a hosted and managed system.  You will not need special hardware or software to receive messages.  It is a multi-modal service that can disseminate emergency messages through:

·         SMS text messages: Students and employees may register up to three mobile phone numbers to receive SMS text messages through AU ALERT.  Mobile phone numbers registered for text messaging may also be set up to receive voice messages.

·         Voice messages:  Students and employees may register up to three "voice only" phone numbers to receive voice messages, and may also choose to receive voice messages to mobile phone numbers registered to receive texts.

·         E-mail:  An alert message will be sent to your official campus e-mail address.  You can also specify up to two additional e-mail addresses for receiving these alerts.

Note:  You will receive emergency alerts to all phone numbers and e-mail addresses registered with AU ALERT, according to the preferences you specify in your AU ALERT profile.

Are there any costs involved if I sign up for the system?

Auburn University does not charge anyone for the AU ALERT service.  If you do not have a text messaging plan as part of your mobile phone service, there may be a small charge for any text messages that you receive.  You should check with your mobile phone carrier to determine what these costs may be.

How soon will I have the ability to receive emergency messages after I sign up?

You will be able to receive emergency messages immediately after sign up.  You can click on the "test" button next to your phone number or e-mail address to send a test message to yourself.

Will my contact information remain secure, and will it be used for any other purposes?

The information collected for AU ALERT is securely maintained and will not be shared.  It is only used to distribute information regarding emergencies that require immediate action or to convey critical, time-sensitive information.


Desktop Alerting

How do I get desktop alerts?

The AU ALERT/Alertus Desktop Alert Client is being installed on all university computers in offices, classrooms and computer labs.  Employees can look for the "Alertus Desktop Alert" icon in the system tray.  If it is not there, contact  your IT provider or download the client from AU Install.  Once downloaded, double click on the downloaded file to begin installation and follow the prompts.

How quickly will I receive alerts on my computer?

Provided you have internet access, alerts are generally displayed on your computer in less than a minute after they are sent by emergency management personnel.

How do I install the program?

Go to AU Install to download the AU ALERT/Alertus Desktop Alert Client.

Click on the version of the file that you would like to download (Windows or Mac).

Save the file to your computer.

Double click on downloaded file.

Follow the prompts to install the program.

Start the program (or it will start automatically the next time you restart your computer).

Once the program is installed and you have started it, you will immediately be able to receive desktop emergency alerts and will see an Alertus Desktop Alert icon in the system tray (bottom right corner of your screen).

What will they look like?

Desktop alerts will be prominently displayed on your computer screen.  They will clearly be identified as an AU ALERT message. 

How do I clear the alert from my screen?

To remove the alert, simply click on the green Acknowledge button at the bottom of the image.

Will it affect my computer's performance?

No, the AU ALERT/Alertus Desktop Alert Client will not affect your computer's performance.  The program has been carefully evaluated by OIT personnel before being released for general distribution.

Will it cause me to lose what I was working on when it is activated?

You will be returned to what you were working on as soon as you acknowledge the alert.

How do I know the desktop alerting program is working?

Look at the Alertus Desktop Alert icon in the system tray (bottom right corner of your screen).  If it is yellow, then it is working properly.  If it is red, then your computer is not properly connecting to the server and you will not be able to receive alerts until the connection is restored.  If you have an internet connection but the icon is red, please notify the OIT Help Desk so they can troubleshoot the problem.

Can I receive desktop alerts when I am off campus?

Yes, you can receive alerts when you are off campus provided you have installed the AU ALERT/Alertus Desktop Alert Client on their computer and have internet access.  Your computer does not have to be connected to the Auburn University network to receive alerts.

Can students and parents receive desktop alerts?

At this time, we are not providing access to the AU ALERT/Alertus Desktop Alert Client to students or parents because we are evaluating this new system's performance.  The service may be made available to students and parents at a later date.

Is desktop alerting available for Mac?

Yes, the AU ALERT/Alertus Desktop Alert Client is available for both Mac and Windows computers.

How does desktop alerting work?

The desktop client that is installed on your computer will poll the server several times a minute to see if any alerts have been issued.  When an alert is issued, it will be displayed the next time the desktop client polls the server.

When will desktop alerting be used?

Like other components of the AU ALERT system, desktop alerts will only be sent in emergency situations requiring immediate action, to convey critical time-sensitive information or for periodic system tests.

Can I remove the desktop alert client from my university computer?

Desktop alerts are mandatory on university-provided computers and cannot be removed.

Who can I contact for more information?

For technical questions, please contact the OIT Help Desk at 334-844-4944, or via the problem reporting form on their website at

For general questions about any component of the AU ALERT system, please contact the Auburn University Department of Public Safety & Security at 334-844-8888 or


Last Updated: Dec. 14, 2012

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