Friday text message test deemed a success
GAINESVILLE, Fla. — A test of the UF Alert text message system on Friday was a success, university officials said.
Eight minutes and two seconds elapsed from the time a University Police Department dispatcher sent the text message until the last batch of messages left Blackboard Connect, the text message service provider. A total of 61,475 text messages was sent.
University officials said prior to the test that anything less than 10 minutes would be acceptable.
“We are very pleased with the success of today’s test,” said Ed Miller, president of Blackboard Connect. “The results affirm the reliable performance record Blackboard Connect has established in sending over 1 billion messages to date, and we look forward to applying that experience serving the University of Florida’s mass notification needs in the future.”
Friday’s test was conducted after university and Blackboard officials determined the results of Wednesday’s test were not consistent with the expectations of the text messaging system.
The next UF Alert test will be conducted during the spring semester and will include text messages as well as mass e-mails, UF home page postings, media notifications and Facebook and Twitter posts.
Students, faculty and staff are encouraged to update their emergency contact information in MyUFL. Updates can be made at MyUFL, then by clicking on My Account and Update Emergency Contact. Everyone is encouraged to add the five-digit number “23177” to his or her cell phone contact list and name it “UFAlert.” This will assist in identifying future, authorized UF text messages on your mobile phone.
If you don’t receive a text message but have previously entered your information in MyUFL, text “SUBSCRIBE UFAlert” to 23177, and registered UF subscribers will receive a text message indicating their cell number is in the system.
The emergency text messaging system is used only in cases where a threat is confirmed and has the potential to affect the entire campus. In the event of an emergency or disaster affecting campus, the UF Homepage is the official source of UF emergency-related information.