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/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 in the 2015-2016 school year, and thereafter, were automatically enrolled upon registration. You can opt-in or opt-out by changing your status using the My UW-Madison portal at my.wisc.edu.

Log in to the My UW portal, search "WiscAlerts" on the top search bar, choose the green launch button and choose the link that says "WiscAlerts". 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 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. **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 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. 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 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, 78015, 81437, 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 into the My UW portal at my.wisc.edu searching "WiscAlerts" on the top search bar, and choosing the link that says "WiscAlerts". Additionally, ensure you have a valid phone number registered in your contact information on the Student Center 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 WiscAlerts message?

Follow any instructions in the text message. You should also check the University Police Department's Facebook and/or Twitter page for updates.

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 the University Police Department's Facebook and/or Twitter page for updates.

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 Student Center portal. As soon as you land on the page scroll down to the bottom and click on "Cell Phone - View All" inside the "Contact Information" box. This will take you to a page where you have the option to edit your cell phone number. 

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.

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, see What if my cell phone number changes? for directions.

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.