WiscAlerts - Frequently Asked Questions

WiscAlerts is the name for UW-Madison's emergency notification system. In the event of a campus emergency, students, faculty and staff will receive timely information and updates about a situation and steps you can take to stay safe.

Enrollment and Subscription Questions


Receiving Messages

Cell Phone and Cellular Service Questions

General Questions

Enrollment/Subscription Questions

How do I enroll for WiscAlerts-Text Messaging?

This is a voluntary opt in program for faculty, staff and students post 2015-2016 school year. All incoming freshman starting the 2015-2016 school year were automatically enrolled upon registration. You can continue to subscribe via the My UW-Madison portal, utilizing a search for WiscAlert.

Log in to the My UW portal, search WiscAlert on the top search bar, choose the green launch button and look for the WiscAlerts logo. Your university provided email should already appear here. After you have registered your cell phone number, all WiscAlerts-Text Messaging messages will arrive from 67283 or 226787. It is recommended that you store these numbers to your cell phone and label them "WiscAlerts."

When should I register for WiscAlerts-Text Messaging?

As soon as possible after you arrive on the UW-Madison campus.

Can I sign-up multiple cell phone numbers when I register?

No. In the interest of maintaining speed and accuracy of the message delivery process, only one phone per person is allowed.

Does this service cost anything to sign up?

There is no charge to use WiscAlerts-Text Messaging. Although your cell phone carrier might charge you to receive text messages. Check with your carrier regarding your service plan.

How do I unsubscribe?

Log into the My UW Madison portal on the Home Tab, under the WiscAlerts Module, remove your cell phone number from the text box and click the "update cell phone" button. **Note University faculty/staff and students will not be given the opportunity to remove their email addresses from the WiscAlerts page.**


Who can subscribe to the service?

Students, faculty, staff and university affiliates with an active NetID can participate. Employees can enroll up to 90 days before their appointments begin, and up to 60 days after their appointments end.  

Can I enroll my parents or other family members for WiscAlerts-Text Messaging?

No. In the interest of maintaining speed and accuracy of the message delivery process, service enrollment is limited to members of the UW-Madison campus community.

Can I enroll for WiscAlerts-Text Messaging if I am located on campus but I am not a UW student, staff, or faculty member?

WiscAlerts-Text Messaging is only available to students, faculty, staff and university associates.

What happens if I transfer or leave UW-Madison?

Your account will be deactivated and removed approximately six months after your eligibility to enroll expires.

Receiving Messages

What type of messages will I receive from WiscAlerts-Text Messaging?

WiscAlerts-Text Messaging is a service set up to notify campus only of situations in which immediate life threatening 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-Text Messaging.

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 sender, 67283 or 226787, and will start with WiscAlert.

  • Calls to your Desk Phone - Caller ID will be 608-262-4444
  • Email - Emails will come from wiscalerts@mhub.uwpd.wisc.edu
  • Text Messages will come from the short codes 67283 and/or 226787  
I signed up, but did not receive a text message during an emergency. What do I do?

Please verify that you are registered by logging in to the My UW-Madison Portal. There are many factors that could prevent a message from getting through or getting through in a timely fashion.

WiscAlerts-Text Messaging is offered on a best effort basis. There is no guarantee that the service provider or the cellular service provider will be able to send a text message during every crisis or emergency or that such messages will be received on your wireless device. Receiving a WiscAlerts-Text Messaging message does not guarantee your safety.

Who sends the messages?

The University of Wisconsin-Madison Police Department

What do I do when I receive a WiscAlert message?

Follow any instructions in the text message. You should also check www.wisc.edu for updates in addition to the University's Facebook and or Twitter page.

I am a professor. What do I do if I receive an emergency message while I'm teaching a class?

Announce the information in the message to the class and follow any instructions given.You should also check www.wisc.edu for updates in addition to the University's Facebook and or Twitter page.

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-Text Messaging 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 your with your carrier regarding your service plan.

What if my cell phone number changes?

You can change your number via the My UW Madison portal. Look for the WiscAlerts-Text Messaging logo.

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 also change your mobile number, access your account via the My UW Madison portal to edit your account.

Can I use Google Voice?

No, Google Voice is not compatible with WiscAlerts.

General Questions

What if I'm interested in WiscAlerts-Text Messaging but I don't have a cell phone/text messaging capabilities?

WiscAlerts-Text Messaging is just one of numerous methods UW-Madison will use to notify campus in the event of an emergency. Other WiscAlert systems include WiscAlerts-Email, and WiscAlerts-Desk Phone and social media accounts. Depending on the situation, additional communication systems that could be used including local media, the UW-Madison Parent Program, toll free hotlines, the 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-Text Messaging 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-Text Messaging 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 264-HELP or help@doit.wisc.edu.

Keywords:wiscalerts FAQ text messaging emergency notification system alert alerts wisc wiscalert   Doc ID:13839
Owner:DAVID C.Group:DoIT Help Desk
Created:2010-04-17 18:00 CSTUpdated:2017-12-06 14:10 CST
Sites:DoIT Help Desk
Feedback:  13   59