One of several modes of emergency communication used at UCI, zotALERT is an emergency alert system that uses cell phone text messaging to quickly notify the UCI community with emergency and safety related information. The system will not be used for routine announcements. However, zotALERT messages will be sent periodically to test the system and to promote emergency preparedness.
The ZotAlert text message system is complemented by a ZotAlert mailing list. This mailing list is a mandatory element of campus emergency communications, as described on the ZotMail web site:
Emergency ZotMail System
As part of the emergency communication plan, the chancellor, executive vice chancellor, and vice chancellor-administrative and business services have the ability to use the ZotMail system to reach the entire UCI community including all campus employees, all medical center employees and all registered students.
Sign up for zotALERT
Students are strongly encouraged to sign up for zotALERT messages. You will need a “text-enabled” cell phone.
- Login to StudentAccess
- Click Contact Information
- Update your Mobile Phone and provide your cell phone number.
Faculty and Staff
Faculty and staff are also encouraged to sign up for zotALERT messages. You will need a “text-enabled” cell phone.
- Login to PhUpdate
- Enter your cell phone number in the Emergency Cell field.
- Click the Submit Change Request button.
There are a variety of reasons that may be the cause of not receiving zotALERT text messages. Please take the following steps to resolve the problem with your particular cellular phone number.
It is critical that you take the time to correct the problem if you wish to receive future zotALERTS.
- Verify that your emergency cell number is correct.
Faculty and Staff must visit www.uci.edu/phupdate and Students must visit www.reg.uci.edu/access/student/welcome/ to verify that the number listed as your emergency cell number is correct. We have found instances where the number entered was a home telephone, was a disconnected number, had the incorrect area code, was one digit off, etc.
- Ensure that the cell number listed can receive text messages.
If you do not use text messaging on a regular basis, confirm with your cellular service provider that your service plan includes text messaging. Plans vary among cellular service providers. Not all plans include text messaging. If you do not receive a ZotALERT message, the first troubleshooting step to try is to verify you are able to receive text messages by sending yourself a text message, or asking someone else to send you one.*For users of Google Voice, you must enter your phone number provided by your cellular carrier. Google Voice does not directly accept text messages from service providers who use short codes to send text messages.
- Ensure that your cellular device does not have text messaging blocked.
Some cellular carriers will allow peer-to-peer text messaging, but they may block text messages from third party mass marketing services or zotALERT messages. For the zotALERT text messages to arrive successfully, no blocking should be on the account.
- Ensure that you have sufficient text message credits available.
If you are on a pre-paid or pay as you go cellular plan, ensure that you always have sufficient credits available to receive a zotALERT text message.
Please contact the OIT Help Desk at email@example.com or by phone at (949) 824-2222 if you have questions.
zotALERT Removal Policy
- Students who have not enrolled in courses for the past two quarters and are not enrolled in the current quarter (or summer session) and are not a current employee or sponsored UCInetID holder will be removed from the zotALERT service.
- Students who become employees will continue to receive zotALERT messages.
- Employees who leave the University will be automatically removed from the zotALERT service when their directory entry is removed which is approximately 60-90 days after their separation date.
- Retirees who no longer wish to receive zotALERT pages need to use the PhUpdate utility to remove their Emergency Cell Phone number.
An enhancement has been made to zotALERT that will send email copies of zotALERTs issued in emergency situations to all current faculty, staff and students. This will provide an additional notification mechanism to text messaging, which is not 100% reliable. It will also help get the word out to those who do not have cell phones or find notification through text messaging ineffective. Redundancy is an important component of emergency communication strategy.
Currently the system is provided by Mir3, http://www.mir3.com/. The service is fully hosted off-site by Mir3 in redundant secure data centers so it does not rely on campus systems.
Respond to zotALERT Test
UCI periodically tests the zotALERT emergency text messaging system to verify the cell phone numbers we have on file, and that the system is operating properly. When a zotALERT test is conducted, we send a follow up email to ask you to let us know if you did or did not receive the test message.