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Emergency Communications Test Scheduled

Email test message to be sent April 12

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April 9, 2012

Northwestern University will conduct a test of its emergency communications system the night of Thursday, April 12, 2012, University officials announced today (April 10, 2012).

Using the Blackboard Connect system, the University will send a test email from the University’s emergency management emailbox, nuemergencymgmt@northwestern.edu, to all email addresses on the Evanston and Chicago campuses.

“People should not be concerned when they receive an email from NU Emergency Management the night of April 12,” said Alan Cubbage, vice president for University Relations. “This is merely a test of one of our key emergency communications channels.”

The University will not send the message via text message or phone at that time, Cubbage added. “We can test the system using only email. That way it will not be disruptive to the community.”

The communications test is part of Northwestern’s continuing emergency preparedness efforts, said Bruce Lewis, associate vice president of public safety and chief of University Police. The University has recently completed its Emergency Response Framework and Violence Prevention Plan, which detail Northwestern’s emergency preparedness and response plans.

Cubbage noted that Northwestern conducted a test of the University’s bulk email system last fall and uses that system, as well as postings on the Northwestern home page, to send security alerts when needed. The NU Emergency Management message system is used only in the event of major emergencies.

“We have several communications channels that can be used in an emergency, so it’s important for us to test each of them,” Cubbage said.