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 URI Alert 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. URI Alert
  • 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.  URI Alert

The URI ALERT 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 https://www.uri.edu/weather.

C.  E-mail notification

The Department of Communications and Marketing maintains several listservs to reach all available student, faculty and staff 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.

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 113 blue light emergency phones on the Kingston campus.