Emergency Notification Policy

In the event of a significant emergency or dangerous situation involving an immediate threat to the health or safety of the Tufts community, Tufts University will, without delay, and taking into account the safety of the community, determine the content of the notification and initiate the notification system, unless issuing a notification will, in the professional judgment of responsible authorities, compromise efforts to assist a victim or to contain, respond to, or otherwise mitigate the emergency. A reported emergency will be confirmed by police dispatched to the scene, the use of video security, or a combination. A public health emergency will be confirmed through consultation with campus medical providers or local public health authorities. Message content is developed in collaboration with the department(s) with subject-matter expertise for the type of emergency and with the assistance of University Relations – Communications and Marketing; several messages are pre-scripted to enable rapid distribution. Messages are sent to students, faculty, and staff on the affected Tufts campus(es), or posted or announced in areas where affected segments of the campus will see or hear the message. Notification may be made by email, megaphone or public-address announcement, paper postings, or activation of TuftsAlert (emergency alert system). A senior member of the Department of Public and Environmental Safety– including the Executive Director, Director, Deputy Director, or Deputy Chief – is responsible for confirmation, selecting the appropriate segment(s) of the university, determining the content, and initiating the notification process; however, in an imminent threat an on-duty police supervisor is empowered to perform these responsibilities, selecting a pre-scripted notification message and directing a member of the department to activate TuftsAlert immediately. After the initial alert message, additional information may be distributed by another alert message, by email, or by web at www.tufts.edu and/or announcements.tufts.edu. The larger community – beyond students, faculty, and staff – may access information at announcements.tufts.edu or via a subscription email list for family of undergraduate students at emergency.tufts.edu/alert/parents.

Messages from TuftsAlert are sent to university email accounts and can be sent by text message to mobile phones, and by voice to any enrolled phone number; however, users must provide their contact information to be included in the system. TuftsAlert messages will be sent to all community members for whom Tufts has contact information on the affected campus(es), and will contain only a very brief description of the type of emergency along with instructions on self- protection. It’s critical that recipients of the alert message follow the instructions immediately. Members of the community are reminded to provide/update their contact information at the beginning of each semester, or may update their contact information at any time by visiting emergency.tufts.edu/alertupdate. A full-scale test of TuftsAlert is performed at the beginning of the fall and spring semesters on a date that is announced by email and in various campus publications. During these tests, the university will publicize a link to its emergency response procedures in the Emergency Response Guide via email and will document for each test a description of the exercise, the date, time, and how it was announced. Visit emergency.tufts.edu/alert for more information.