Emergency Notifications & Alerts

Eastern Michigan University utilizes a variety of communication tools for the delivery of emergency notifications and alerts to help spread information quickly to students, staff, faculty and visitors. These systems are operated from the EMU Public Safety Communications Center and are activated in the event of an emergency or potentially dangerous situation.

Additional outdoor warning sirens are operated by Washtenaw County Emergency Management and are activated for severe weather events and other types of emergency situations.

The following systems provide prompt emergency alerts to the campus community. More information, including how to sign up for emergency text alerts, can be found in the accordion panels below:

  • Emergency Text Alerts Expand dropdown

    Eastern Michigan University uses an alert service provided by Rave Mobile Safety that notifies the campus community if an emergency situation occurs or is imminent. The service provides important information to your emich.edu email account and, if you entered your mobile phone information, as a text message to your mobile phone.

    Get Eagle Alerts

  • Alertus Desktop and VOIP alerts Expand dropdown

    Alertus desktop alerts are part of the EMU emergency notification system. Whenever EMU issues an emergency alert, all workstations and laptops running the Alertus client will display a full-screen pop-up alert. These pop-up alerts are in addition to those you receive on your mobile devices, and are not meant to replace them.

    Alertus desktop alerts will appear on all active desktops with Alertus software installed. The EMU Emergency Management Office and the EMU Department of Information Technology strongly recommends that you take advantage of these desktop alerts to ensure that you receive emergency notifications when your cell phone isn't working or is turned off.

    The Alertus Desktop client is only active when the computer is powered on and logged in. This means that a computer a) in standby b) at the log-in screen c) in screen saver lockout – will not display the alert (until a user logs in).

    The Alertus alerts are available at the Ypsilanti main campus only. It is not deployed to extended program locations.


    • How do I sign-up for Alertus? Expand dropdown

      Windows: ​Once the system is fully functional, most windows computers will automatically receive the Alertus system as part of routine software maintenance to your workstation.

      Mac OSX: ​Mac users must manually install the Alertus client to receive alerts. Download the installer. Once the file downloads, open the file, double click the .pkg file and follow instructions to complete the installation process.

    • When and how often will I receive alerts? Expand dropdown

      Alertus is designed to alert members of the EMU community during an emergency that poses an imminent, ongoing, campus-wide threat or danger to the safety of the campus community. This could include, but is not limited to, a severe storm forecasted to strike the area or an active assailant on campus.

      Alertus WILL NOT be used for general crime alerts or other situations on campus that do not pose an imminent threat or danger. It will also not be used for non-emergency communications such as campus event announcements, class reminders, news or advertisements.

      Tests of the Alertus system are conducted at regular intervals, usually in September and January.

    • What does Alertus look like? Expand dropdown

      Alertus will need a connection to the EMU network to receive notifications. When an alert is sent it will look similar to the image below. To close the notification, simply click the 'Acknowledge' button. Below is an example of what the notification will look like when Alertus is activated:

      An Alertus Notification

  • Blue Light Phones & Emergency Assistance Stations Expand dropdown

    As part of EMU's dedication to the safety of our students, staff, faculty and visitors, over 50 emergency assistance stations and 40 blue light emergency phones have been installed throughout campus. These systems are extremely easy to use and are a direct lifeline to EMU Public Safety getting help on the way fast.

    Blue Light Phones

    Blue light phones exist for your safety and convenience. The phone locations are marked by a blue light on top of a post marked "Emergency." In an emergency, press the red button to automatically dial the EMU Police Department. When you press the button, the blue light on top of the pole will begin flashing to help officers find your location easier. 

    You can also use these phones to call anywhere on campus.

    Blue phone locations are indicated by light blue phone icon on the online campus map.

    Emergency Assistance Stations

    Inside multiple buildings on campus are over 50 emergency assistance stations. These stations are located near the exits of the larger buildings on campus and look similar to a fire alarm pull station. They are easily identifiable by their blue color, a blue light and a sign that says, "Emergency Assistance" above them. Just like the blue light phones, these stations, when activated, will dial Public Safety Dispatch and the light will begin flashing. Simply talk into the speaker box after pulling the handle to communicate with a Public Safety Dispatcher.

    All emergency assistance stations are equipped a video camera programmed to automatically show your location when the station is activated.  This allows Dispatchers to both talk to and see you at the station immediately.

  • Fire Alarms & Voice-over Fire Alarms Expand dropdown

    Eastern Michigan takes the risk of fire in campus buildings extremely seriously.  All buildings are equipped with fire alarm systems that automatically send a signal to EMU Public Safety when activated. This allows us to dispatch the fire department before we even receive a call decreasing response time.  

    Most buildings have alarm systems that are a combined siren and strobe.  These systems are designed to help people with disabilities identify when the alarm is going off.  In case of the alarm being activated, all occupants are required to exit the building by law.  After evacuating, report to your designated meeting area.

    Over 25 buildings on campus are equipped with Voice-over Fire Alarms (VoFA).  These systems allow a message to be broadcast throughout the building along with the siren and strobe.  EMU Public Safety has the ability to convey generic messages or building specific messages through these fire alarms in order to give directions to people inside of a building. 

    In the case of a fire alarm being activated, everyone inside of the building is required, by law, to evacuate the building.  If your building has completed a Building Emergency Plan, report to the Designated Meeting Area.  If it has not, leave the immediate area of the building leaving driveways open to emergency vehicles.

  • Outdoor Public Address System Expand dropdown

    In 2009, EMU installed seven outdoor speaker arrays that provide voice messages to the outdoor areas of campus. These high powered speakers use scripted messages to alert the campus to hazards and provide information on how to respond. The system is operated by the EMU Department of Public Safety.

    Speakers are located on top of Phelps Hall, King Hall, Goddard Hall, Halle Library, the Student Center, the Convocation Center and next to the Sculpture Studio. Though the speakers are extremely loud, they are not designed to be heard indoors. They are intended to alert people outdoors to an emergency.

    When activated, you will first hear a two tone sound followed by a message. The tone and message will repeat multiple times depending on the event taking place. Please follow the directions given by the system.

    EMU conducts monthly tests of its mass notification & emergency communications system. Activation of the system includes an audible test message to all outdoor speakers and to designated in-building speakers. A full system test (all indoor and outdoor speakers and the EMU Alert text and email messaging system) takes place during the January and September tests.

    Testing is scheduled at 12 noon on the 4th Friday of the month  (except when adjustments for holidays and  in December when testing will be on the second Friday of the month).  Typical duration of tests is approximately 2 minutes.

  • Outdoor Warning Sirens Expand dropdown

    The Washtenaw County Sheriff Emergency Services Division is responsible for the activation of thirty-nine designated outdoor warning sirens throughout Washtenaw County.  These sirens are triggered when appropriate by Washtenaw County. There are four reasons the sirens may be set off:

    1. The National Weather Service (NWS) has issued a tornado warning. This is issued when a tornado is indicated by radar or sighted by spotters; therefore, people in the affected area should seek safe shelter immediately. They can be issued without a Tornado Watch being already in effect. They are usually issued for a duration of around 30 minutes.
    2. A severe thunderstorm has been detected with damaging winds in excess of 70 MPH.
    3. A hazardous materials accident requires immediate protective action by the public.
    4. An attack on the United States is imminent, underway or has recently occurred.

    Warning Sirens are for more than just tornadoes. It is important to find shelter whenever you hear the siren, even under clear skies.

    EMU has two of these sirens on its campus on top of Mark Jefferson Science Complex and next to Westview Apartments.

    Though EMU does not operate these sirens we do respond to their warning.  When the sirens are activated EMU Public Safety immediately begins researching the situation and the appropriate response on behalf of the University.  Immediately take shelter when you hear the siren and then seek more information using the other emergency communication channels which will help you make decisions on how to respond.

    Washtenaw County tests the sirens at 12:00 noon on the first Saturday of every month from March through September. If severe weather is possible on the afternoon test, it will be delayed until the following month.

  • EMU Website Expand dropdown

    The EMU website can be used to provide information in support of an emergency alert. Messages can be posted to the official EMU website/homepage containing information that has been developed for that specific threat.

  • WEMU 89.1 FM Radio Station Expand dropdown

    89.1, WEMU is a listener-supported NPR affiliate with format of  local news, jazz, blues, and roots music, in addition to NPR news, information, and cultural programming.  The stations broadcasts to an 8 county area including all or part of Washtenaw, Wayne, Oakland, Monroe, Livingston, Lenawee, Jackson, and Lucas (OH) and streams live 24 hours a day at wemu.org.

System Testing

University owned systems are tested on a regularly scheduled basis and tests are advertised to the campus community. Any time the system is activated, please pay attention and react as instructed.


If you have any questions or notice damage to any of the system components, please contact us.