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New System for Emergency Notification

Dear members of the Northwestern community,

The safety of our community is our highest priority. Northwestern is launching an enhanced campus-wide emergency notification system this week to warn students, faculty, staff and visitors more quickly in the event of an immediate or imminent threat on campus, as well as other important situations.

Information is below about the two types of messages the system would send out and for how to update your contact information so you can receive these important notices.

Immediate Threats

Urgent messages titled “AlertNU” will notify members of the Northwestern community via email, text, phone calls, the web and social media when there is an emergency occurring on campus that requires immediate action, like an active aggressor.

AlertNU messages will be denoted with the color red, where possible. Some communications are limited to simple text and will not include the color red. This includes text messages.

Email messages will appear with the following header image to incorporate the color red:


Serious or Continuous Threats

For serious and continuing threats, email messages titled “Crime Notice” will notify community members when there are critical incidents and threats to safety to know about such as robberies, sexual assaults, aggravated assaults or vehicle thefts.

Crime Notice messages will be denoted with the color purple via emails that will appear with the following header image:

Crime Notice

Next Steps

  • Keep your contact infrmation up-to-date

Students, faculty and staff have been automatically entered into the system. If your emergency contact information is up-to-date, there is no need to do anything. To review your contact information, or if your information or phone number changes during the year, please use the following systems to update it:

  • Students should log into CAESAR.
  • Faculty and staff should go to myHR.

If you have not yet added your mobile number to your emergency contact information, please do so.

  • Encourage others to opt in

We recommend that all parents, contractors, visitors, vendors, members of the Evanston community, hospital partners in Chicago and others opt into the system. All can enroll in AlertNU by texting “AlertNU” to 226787. For more information, please visit the About Emergency Notifications page which includes answers to frequently asked questions. 

  • Pay attention when you see these alerts

Your safety is our paramount concern. The security of the Northwestern community is a shared responsibility, one that we take very seriously. The latest information will always be posted on the Northwestern homepage.

We thank you for your partnership and vigilance.