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WiscAlerts - Frequently Asked Questions
WiscAlerts — UW–Madison’s emergency notification system — are designed to provide information about an immediate, actively occurring, and confirmed emergency situation on campus (or an actively occurring threat that’s heading towards campus) that requires the community to take immediate action in order to stay safe. WiscAlerts are sent by the UW-Madison Police Department.
UW-Madison students are automatically enrolled to receive WiscAlert emails to their campus email and texts to their student cell phone number.
UW-Madison faculty/staff are automatically enrolled to receive emails and desk phone calls.
Each user may enroll two cell phone numbers to receive texts using the WiscAlerts app — any secondary cell phone number can be added (for a parent, spouse, etc.).
Parents or other community members can enroll by texting UWALERT to 77295. This will enroll you for six months, then the system will text to remind you when that six-month period has expired.
How do I enroll for WiscAlerts?
Campus email addresses, student cell phone numbers, and employee desk phone numbers (voice only) are automatically enrolled to receive WiscAlerts.
You can opt-in or opt-out of texts to your cell phone using the WiscAlerts app in the MyUW Portal.
Your university email should already appear here. Students will also see their cell phone number (not primary), employees will see desk phone number (if applicable).
To enroll additional phone numbers, you may add up to two cell phone numbers to receive WiscAlert text messages. These numbers can be unaffiliated with the university (e.g., guardians, spouses, etc.).
To unenroll these additional phone numbers, click "Opt Out" (students) or deleting a cell phone number (faculty/staff).
After you have registered your cell phone number, all WiscAlerts messages will arrive from 67283, 78015, 81437, and/or 226787. It is recommended that you store these numbers in your cell phone and label them "WiscAlerts."
When should I register for WiscAlerts?
As soon as possible after you arrive on the UW-Madison campus.
Can I sign-up multiple cell phone numbers when I register?
Yes. In addition to auto-enrolled campus data, users are able to register 2 additional cell phone numbers. These can be managed within the WiscAlert app in the MyUW portal.
Does it cost anything to sign up?
There is no charge to use WiscAlerts text messaging. However, your cell phone carrier might charge you to receive text messages. Check with your carrier regarding your service plan.
How do I unsubscribe from WiscAlerts?
Student Cell Phones
Students are automatically enrolled to receive WiscAlerts to their cell phone number.
To unsubscribe from texts to your student cell phone number, click “Opt Out”.
To unsubscribe from texts to any additional listed cell phone numbers, delete the number and click “Save”. Log into the MyUW portal at my.wisc.edu on the Home Tab, search "WiscAlerts" on the top search bar, and choose the link that says "WiscAlerts". Next, click the "Opt Out" button and you will not receive any more texts from WiscAlerts.
Faculty/Staff Cell Phones
To unsubscribe from texts to any additional listed cell phone numbers, delete the number and click “Save”.
Campus Email and Desk Phone
Current university students, staff, and affiliates are required to receive WiscAlert emails to their wisc.edu address. These addresses cannot be unenrolled.
Faculty/staff are also required to receive WiscAlerts to their desk phone.
Who can subscribe to the service?
Students, faculty, staff and university affiliates with an active NetID can participate.
Students will be automatically enrolled when they sign up for classes at the start of their first semester, and will remain enrolled up to 60 days after their enrollment ends.
Employees can add personal cell phone numbers up to 90 days before their appointments begin, and will remain enrolled up to 60 days after their appointments end.
Can I enroll my parents or other family members for WiscAlerts texts?
Students are able to register two additional cell phone numbers within the WiscAlerts app within the WiscAlerts app.
Parents or other community members without a NetID can also enroll via text by messaging UWALERT to 77295. This will enroll you for six months, and the system will text to remind you about it when that six-month period has expired.
What happens if I transfer or leave UW-Madison?
Your account will be unenrolled approximately 60 days after your affiliation with the university ends.
What type of messages will I receive from WiscAlerts?
WiscAlerts is a service set up to notify campus only of situations in which personal safety is a factor. To ensure the system is operating at an optimum level, occasional test messages will be sent. You will never receive advertising or spam messages from WiscAlerts. More information about messages you may receive can be found here.
How will I know the WiscAlerts-Text Messaging message is from the UW and not a spam or a hoax?
All alerts will come from the same senders and will start with WiscAlert.
Calls to your Desk Phone will be from 608-262-4444
Emails will come from email@example.com
Text Messages will come from the short code numbers 67283, 78015, 81437, and/or 226787
I signed up, but did not receive a text message during an emergency. What do I do?
Log into the WiscAlerts app and verify that your contact information is properly listed or enrolled.
WiscAlerts is offered on a best effort basis by the UW-Madison Police Department. Cellular technology is still evolving, and there are many factors that could prevent a message from going out. There is also no guarantee or that your wireless device will be able to receive messages during every crisis or emergency. Receiving a WiscAlerts message does not guarantee your safety.
Who sends the messages?
The University of Wisconsin-Madison Police Department composes and sends all WiscAlerts messages.
What do I do when I receive a WiscAlerts message?
Follow any instructions in the text message, such as avoiding an area or sheltering in place.
I am a professor. What do I do if I receive an emergency message while I'm teaching a class?
What if I receive a WiscAlert message while in class, on the bus or with a group of people?
WiscAlerts messages are intended for the safety of the campus community. Please immediately share the information with the people around you.
Cell Phone/Cellular Service Questions
Does it matter who my cell phone provider/carrier is?
No. The WiscAlerts service provider has agreements with all of the major cellular carriers.
Will I get charged by my carrier?
Your cell phone carrier might charge you to receive text messages. Check with your carrier regarding your service plan.
What if my cell phone number changes?
Student Primary Cell Phone
You can update your contact information in the Student Center. For instructions on changing your cell number, see Student Center - Updating Your Contact Information.
Make sure the new phone number is checked in the preferred column. Your new number should be updated in the WiscAlerts system within 24 hours.
Additional Cell Phone Numbers
If you change additional WiscAlerts phone numbers you have added, these should be updated in the WiscAlerts app within the MyUW Portal.
What if my cell phone provider changes?
If you keep the same mobile number and simply change cell phone provider, you do not have to change anything. If you change your mobile number, update your contact information following the above instructions.
Can I use Google Voice?
No, Google Voice is not compatible with WiscAlerts.
What if I'm interested in WiscAlerts but I don't have a cell phone/text messaging capabilities?
WiscAlerts is just one of numerous methods UW-Madison will use to notify campus in the event of an emergency. Other WiscAlert systems include email, desk phone calls, and social media updates. Depending on the situation, additional communication systems that could be used including local media, the UW-Madison Parent Program, toll free hotlines, UW-Madison's home and news web pages, and Facebook.
What if my instructor does not allow cell phones in the classroom?
Follow your instructor's rules regarding classroom cell phone use. WiscAlerts is just one of several means by which the University will communicate in times of crisis.
Will my sign-up information be shared or sold to any other providers?
No. UW-Madison and the WiscAlerts provider will protect your cell phone number to the extent allowed by the law.
Are the WiscAlerts accessible for persons with disabilities?
The alerts are sent out as standard text-based messages, so there are no anticipated accessibility problems. Accessibility of the message will likely be dependent on the accessibility of the wireless device being used to receive the text message.
I have a question not answered in this documentation. Who do I contact?
Contact the DoIT Help Desk at (608)264-HELP or firstname.lastname@example.org.