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Emergency text messaging

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txt1.jpgAn emergency text message service is being set up to warn students, faculty and staff on the Colorado State University-Pueblo campus of possible safety concerns.

After the disaster at Virginia Tech in April 2007, colleges around the country needed something more to warn people on campus. Joe Gallegos, the environment, health and safety director at CSU-Pueblo, said he felt the same way as those colleges and did something about it.

If there were some threat to those on campus, one text message warning will go out to everyone subscribed to the service. The message will tell students where they can go for safety. Others not already on campus will get a message to stay off campus until the danger has passed, Gallegos said.

“The Emergency Text Messaging Service is important to students on campus because there was no notification about these things before now, but with this we can warn everyone on campus within seconds and not take forever running around from building to building, trying to let everyone know what’s going on,” Gallegos said.

There will be four categories that will determine the dangers that may threaten CSU-Pueblo. The first includes bomb threats, terrorists and murder. Hazardous materials such as spills and gas and biohazard leaks are in the second.

While severe thunderstorms with hail at least three-quarter inches in diameter or lightning close to the city are included in the third category. The final category includes tornadoes that may be heading toward the campus.

All emergency text messages are pre-approved by the president of the university and will have a header that reads CSU-Pueblo Alerts, so students will know the warning is real.

“With this service we hope to provide safety for everyone on campus and to hopefully save lives,” Gallegos said.

The service is expected to be available within the next week and basic text messaging costs will apply.

To sign up for this service, visit your PAWS account at http://www.colostate-pueblo.edu/twolf and click on the emergency tab or get a paper form at the Student Life office.