Office of Emergency Management

URI Department of Public Safety

44 Lower College Rd, Kingston, RI 02881

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Overview of Communication Procedures

The University of Rhode Island has emergency notification systems in place that provide a basic foundation for emergency notices to members of the University community.

In addition to the EmergencyALERT rapid notification system, other communication systems allow the administration to reach students, faculty, staff and other stakeholders with urgent notices. The process in place uses the following technologies to ensure that as many members of the community are informed in the least amount of time. This overlapping technique takes into account limitations of persons with disability. The current system includes:

A. EmergencyALERT

B. Website pages

C. Email

D. Voicemail – (campus)

E. Hotlines (874-1000, 874-SNOW)

F. Media

G. Emergency “Blue-Light” phone network

An emergency notice can be disseminated 24 hrs a day, 7 days a week.

A.  EmergencyALERT

The University’s EmergencyALERT notification system allows quick news and instructions to be sent to all members of the University community in the event of an emergency via their provided contact numbers. The new system augments other emergency communications tools long used by the university, including web postings, email, voicemail and an automated message line, but takes advantage of new technologies to support a fully integrated and coordinated emergency communications program. University faculty, students and staff may enroll for the new system through e-Campus.

B.  URI web site — home page and other emergency site notices
The Department of Communications and Marketing may post emergency notices to the home page, Facebook and Twitter. These notices may be linked to a page with more information about the situation. Related weather notices and related class/operations information is available to the University community at

C.  E-mail notification

The Department of Communications and Marketing maintains several listservs to reach all available student, faculty and staff email addresses. These are URINEWS, for faculty and staff, and the URINewsLine, for students at their designated preferred email addresses. These listservs are maintained and configured to permit only official posts from the department. Approved, official emergency and other important notices of campus-wide interest are distributed to faculty, staff and students as needed.

D. Voicemail system

The Department of Communications and Marketing posts voicemail notices to all faculty/staff voicemail boxes. This land-line telephone system is essential in the event of a major criminal or public safety crisis. The messages are updated as more information becomes available.

E. Hotlines — Call-in phone system

Emergency messages are recorded on the University’s main line, 874-1000. In addition, the Department of Communications and Marketing has established a dedicated call-in line, 874-SNOW for storm and other urgent announcements.

These phone lines are updated with information or directions to community members as needed. These phone technologies may be used in the event of public safety emergencies, such as fires, hurricanes or criminal activity.

F. The Media
Media outlets have merged their weather announcement services
statewide through the Rhode Island Broadcasters Association’s (RIBA) unified cancellation/delay notification system. The University works through RIBA to transmit weather-related class cancellations throughout Rhode Island and bordering communities to reach faculty, staff and students who may not check voicemail, email or the URI home page.

The University submits notices through this secure automated system. The data is then available in real-time to all participating radio and television stations as well as on their websites. The TV and radio stations broadcast this information and many have a program to send alert messages to cell phones, email addresses, or home phone numbers of individuals who “subscribe” on their websites (i.e. Channels 10, 12, 6 etc.).

G. Emergency “Blue-Light” phone network

The University has an emergency phone network on its Kingston Campus that gives a caller instant access to the University Police and Security Department. There are about 90 blue light emergency phones on the Kingson campus.

Several blue light telephones are located near the main entrances of campus residence halls and the University Terrace Apartments.

Emergency Numbers
On campus: 2121
Off campus: 874-2121
Sign up for EmergencyALERT

For More Information

How to find out what to do in the event of an emergency:
  • Sign up on e-Campus for the URI EmergencyAlert system
  • URI's Home page, Facebook page and Twitter feed
  • Call 874-SNOW (7669) or 874-1000 for recorded messages
  • Or listen to a local radio/TV station for announcements.

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