Annual AlertSU test on October 13 at noon

Dear Stanford Faculty & Staff,

On Thursday, October 13, between noon-12:30 pm, Stanford University will conduct its annual test of the campus AlertSU system. Alert messages will be sent via text message and email to the Stanford community.

Also being tested is a new enhancement to the AlertSU system via Cisco VoIP speaker phones. VoIP speaker phones are found in many of the academic and office buildings throughout campus. If you have a Cisco phone in your area, the AlertSU message will broadcast from the speaker phone and a banner message will appear in the display.

The test will also include activation of the outdoor warning system, which will sound an audible tone for approximately 60 seconds followed by a verbal message from each of the 7 sirens at various campus locations. The sirens will be audible throughout the campus and may also be heard in parts of the surrounding communities including Palo Alto, Menlo Park and Los Altos.

There will be a link to a short survey as part of the test email message. Please take a few moments to complete the survey as your feedback will help us evaluate the effectiveness of the AlertSU system.

Prior to the test, it is important you verify that your contact information is correct. Students can update their contact information in Axess, and staff & faculty can update their information in StanfordYou. Make sure that there is an entry in the mobile phone field as this is the most rapid and direct way of communicating with you during an emergency.

If this were a real emergency, you would be asked to follow the specific instructions in the alert message. Other avenues, which might be used to inform the community about critical incidents, include:

  • Stanford’s emergency website:
  • Department of Public Safety website:
  • KZSU 90.1 FM
  • University emergency information hotlines: 650-725-5555 and 844-253-7878 (844-AlertSU)

    Upon receipt of an AlertSU message, notify others in your immediate vicinity to ensure they are also aware of the situation and the recommended safety precautions.

    In order to know when you are receiving an official call or text from the AlertSU system, program the following numbers into your mobile phone.
  • Phone: 650-725-5555
  • SMS/Text messages: 226787 or 67283

    For more information about the AlertSU system, please visit the AlertSU FAQ page at:

    Evacuation procedures and how to respond to other emergencies have been included at the end of this announcement. They can also be found in the Safety, Security, and Fire Report 2016, and the Stanford University Emergency Response Guidelines:

    Thank you for your cooperation.

    Stanford Department of Public Safety


    General Evacuation Procedures
    Upon activation of the fire alarm system or upon receiving an AlertSU emergency notification, all persons shall immediately evacuate the building and meet at the predetermined Emergency Assembly Point (EAP) unless directed to another location or unless it is apparent that the EAP is not a safe place to gather. At large outdoor venues, such as Frost Amphitheater and Stanford Stadium, proceed toward the nearest exit and follow any directions provided by safety personnel or event management staff. While evacuating, remain vigilant for dangerous or criminal activity, and report such observations to the police as soon as possible. Familiarize yourself with the evacuation procedures for any building; also locate the nearest exit and fire extinguishers.

    Fire Evacuation Procedures
  • Report a fire or smoke, even if the fire has been extinguished.
  • Use fire alarm pull stations (horn will sound and strobe will flash) AND
  • Call 9-1-1on a cell phone, or 9-9-1-1from a university phone.

  • Leave the building as soon as you hear the sound of an alarm in a campus building or receive evacuation instructions via the AlertSU system (drills are not an exception).
  • Choose a safe exit
  • Before opening a door, check the door for warmth with the back of your hand:
    -If warm, leave the door closed, stuff towels or clothes in the cracks, and open a window.
    -If not warm, open the door slowly (CAUTION: the doorknob may be hot) and be prepared to close it quickly, if necessary.
  • Close doors as you leave to confine a fire.
  • If you see or smell smoke in a hall or stairway, use another exit.
  • Never use elevators; always use the stairs.
  • Help others evacuate.
  • Knock on doors and check bathrooms as you leave.
  • Offer assistance to individuals with physical disabilities.

    Report to the Emergency Assembly Point (EAP) for your building.Stanford EAP’s are denoted by a symbol of a blue triangle enclosed in a white circle. Every building on campus has at least one assigned EAP.

    Upon arrival, check in with your resident advisor (for student housing), building manager or response team leader. Also report any missing individuals. Faculty are responsible for accounting for individuals attending their classes.

    A map of all campus EAP’s can be found on the Environmental Health & Safety Emergency Preparedness Website:

    Be alert of suspicious persons or activity. Immediately report any vandalism or tampering with an alarm.

    If it is not safe to evacuate
  • Close the door to the corridor and seal up cracks with wet towels.
  • Go to the window and open it a few inches.
  • Hang out a bed sheet or other large item to signal for help.
  • For more information about fire safety and evacuation procedures, visit Environmental Health and Safety’s Emergency Preparedness Website:

    Emergency Evacuation Procedures

    Reacting to an Active Threat (such as an Active Shooter)
    If escape is not an option:
  • Lock and barricade doors.
  • Seek cover (with others, if possible) by placing as much material as possible between you and the threat.
  • Turn off lights (to make the area appear unoccupied).
  • Close blinds and/or block windows.
  • Silence cell phones (turn off vibration as well) but do not turn them completely off.
  • Keep other occupants calm, quiet and out of sight.
  • As soon as it is safe to do so, notify law enforcement by calling 9-1-1 or 9-9-1-1 from a campus phone.
  • Do not approach emergency responders; let them come to you. Raise both your hands over your head. Otherwise, emergency responders may not be able to distinguish between victims and the person posing the threat.
  • Remain concealed until the threat has passed or you have been advised by law enforcement that you can exit.
  • Do not sound the fire alarms unless there is a fire.
  • Evacuation during an active threat event could place people in harm’s way.
  • Fight back as a last resort. Attack aggressively and in coordination with others, if possible. Throw objects or improvise other weapons (fire extinguisher, office equipment, etc.).