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Emergency Notification System (ENS)

The University of Richmond (UR) has an Emergency Notification System (ENS) with multi‐channel communication capabilities. The UR ENS is intended to rapidly disseminate emergency information about an incident and provide instructions to the pertinent UR campus. Currently, the UR ENS consists of the following channels:

UR Alert

During an emergency impacting campus, the University of Richmond will use UR Alert to provide critical, safety information via one or more of the following channels: text messages, email, phone calls, digitial signs, a banner across the top of the University website, and posts to Facebook and Twitter. UR Alert is dependent on an individual “opt‐in” registration in order to receive text messages and phone calls.  Students, faculty and staff are encouraged to sign up for the service. Users can select up to three channels/contact points by which they wish to be notified. Learn more and sign up.

Additional ENS Channels

Outdoor Warning System

The Outdoor Warning System (OWS) consists of clusters of outdoor speakers centrally located on campus. It is capable of playing a recorded message or live audio from the URPD Dispatcher.

The system is most frequently used to alert persons outside to seek shelter indoors immediately due to an approaching tornado. At present, a siren runs continuously during a tornado warning and when the warning expires the siren stops. 

The OWS is tested once a semester.  The timing of these tests will be announced in advance.

Internal Speakers

There are internal speakers located in the following common areas: Tyler Haynes Commons, Heilman Dining Center, Weinstein, and Boatwright Memorial Library. The speakers are able to play prerecorded messages or live audio from the URPD Dispatcher.

Voicemail to UR Campus Phones

Voicemail to UR campus phones will record outbound messages onto voicemail throughout the UR phone system.

Posts to the University Web Site

Posts to may supplement the UR Alert format with more in-depth information and instructions.

UR Hotline

The UR hotline, (804) 289-8760 or toll free at (866) 386-0403, is a recorded message system which provides status information.

UR TV Channel 16

UR TV Channel 16 is connected to the National Weather Service (NWS) Emergency Alert System (EAS). When the EAS is activated, all cable channels connected to the head end will get a message scroll telling them to tune to Channel 16. Channel 16 then displays the information from the EAS.

Classroom Paging

The classroom paging application, grouped by building, uses existing Avaya phone sets to support one-way paging.

ENS Details

All UR ENS messages will contain at a minimum the following information, in this order:

  • Nature of the incident
  • Location
  • Actions to be taken by affected populations

During severe weather a high wind, hail or tornado warning may be issued for campus.  These warnings provide a specific time-frame individuals are expected to seek shelter.  As such, no all clear message will be issued.  

Wireless Emergency Alerts

Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) are emergency messages sent by authorized government alerting authorities through your mobile carrier. While often complementary, this service is different than UR Alert. Both are designed to get your attention, but UR Alerts provide information specific to the University of Richmond.

Please Note

The University of Richmond does not warrant the successful delivery of each message to individual recipients. The service depends on the inidividual e-mail systems, cellular, and mobile phone carriers to deliver SMS and e-mail messages to each recipient. If you elect to receive text messages, you may incur charges from your carrier.