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AlertU - Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What Is AlertU?
  2. Why is this system needed?
  3. How does it work?
  4. Who will send the messages?
  5. How will "emergency" be defined?
  6. Who will get the alerts?
  7. How do I enroll in the program?
  8. Will this work on any cell phone?
  9. Who pays for the text messaging expenses?
  10. What is 2-way alert messaging?
  11. How are users enrolled in the system? Can I unsubscribe once I've enrolled?
  12. Is there a risk of receiving spam messages by enrolling in the program?
  13. If I have additional questions, whom should I contact?

    1. What Is AlertU?
    Santiago Canyon College (SCC) has adopted the AlertU system, an emergency SMS (text) messaging alert platform designed to help communicate critical information to students, faculty, and staff’s mobile devices instantly.

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    2. Why is this system needed?
    Although not the only way SCC will convey time-critical information to employees and students during emergencies, AlertU will speed information to subscribers wherever they may be. The new system augments the existing emergency notification process. As evidenced in the wake of the shootings on the Virginia Tech campus in 2007, time is of the essence during emergencies. AlertU messages will advise recipients of an incident on campus and provide instructions on the precautions they need to take.

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    3. How does it work?
    When District Safety and Security becomes aware of a critical situation which has the potential of causing harm or imminent danger, vital information will be sent in a text message, The initial message may warn recipients of a critical incident and whether they should shelter in place or evacuate.

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    4. Who will send the messages?
    Only authorized, assigned administrators will have access to this web-based notification system. They will send text messages to appropriate groups of employees depending on the incident’s location and scope.

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    5. How will "emergency" be defined?
    The AlertU system will only be used in emergency situations when students/faculty/staff are in danger and the district or college needs to communicate with them immediately.

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    6. Who will get the alerts?
    You must be enrolled in the program to receive the emergency text messages. Recipients will include members of the Incident Command System, students, faculty, staff and anyone interested in receiving emergency messages from SCC.

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    7. How do I enroll in the program?
    We encourage SCC students, faculty and staff to enroll, but anyone who has an interest in receiving emergency messages from SCC can do so by submitting their mobile number using the form on the AlertU signup page. You can also sign up by texting “SCC” to 253788. When you receive the confirmation text message from AlertU, just reply to the message by typing "Y" and you'll be enrolled to receive emergency messages from SCC.

    If you also attend classes at the Orange Education Center (OEC), please signup to receive SCC's AlertU emergency messages using one of the two methods listed aboves.

    If you attend classes at the Santa Ana College (SAC), Centennial Education Center (CEC), Marketplace Education Center (MEC), the Digital Media Center (DMC), or the Orange County Sheriff’s Regional Training Academy, please register to receive SAC's AlertU emergency messages.

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    8. Will this work on any cell phone?
    Yes, AlertU is approved on all major U.S. carriers including Alltel, Boost, Cellular One, AT&T, Dobson (now owned by Cellular One), Nextel (now owned by Sprint), Sprint, T-Mobile, Verizon, and Virgin. As long as subscribers have a text messaging plan, they will be eligible to receive alerts. This excludes some pre-paid subscribers. To be sure, subscribers should check with their carriers to ensure that text messaging is active on their phones.

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    9. Who pays for the text messaging expenses?
    Receiving text messages via AlertU is voluntary. Therefore, any text messaging expenses are the responsibility of the individual.

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    10. What is 2-way messaging?
    Two-way alert messaging allows the subscribers to reply directly to the alert message they have received. This is useful when trying to obtain critical information within the emergency zone. The AlertU system permits 2-way messaging.

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    11. How are users enrolled in the system? Can I unsubscribe once I've enrolled?
    SCC students or individuals interested in receiving AlertU emergency message from SCC can enroll by using the widget provided above or by texting “SCC” to 253788. You can unsubscribe by texting “stop” or “unsub” to the system, as required on all text messaging- based systems by mobile carriers.

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    12. Is there a risk of receiving spam messages by enrolling in the program?
    SCC has complete control of all messages sent to subscribers, as well as all the data provided by subscribers. That data will never by shared or sold by the college district or by Waterfall Mobile, the operator of the AlertU technology platform. Additionally, Waterfall Mobile exceeds the highest standards set by the Mobile Marketing Association and mobile carriers when it comes to safeguarding individuals from spam. All personal data is hosted in and encrypted format in highly secure data centers.

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    13. If I have additional questions, whom should I contact?
    For more details, contact Al Chin, district director or safety and security, by email or by phone at (714) 480-7333.

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