Like many colleges across the country, Mohawk Valley Community College is reviewing and enhancing its campus safety operations. This review is particularly important in light of tragic events at colleges such as the shootings at Virginia Tech and other institutions. MVCC’s campus safety enhancement initiative includes the installation of a mass notification system for campus emergencies.

This mass notification system includes two components important to students, the first being a siren on the Utica Campus that will sound only in the event of a serious emergency. The College will test the siren on occasion, and students will always be notified in advance of the test. If the siren sounds at any other time than during a test, seek immediate shelter and wait for instructions.

The second component is a voluntary system of enrollment for all students for notification of emergencies through the State Emergency Management Office (SEMO) alert system. This voluntary system is known as New York (NY) Alert.

How does NY Alert work?

NY Alert provides subscribers with an email, fax, phone call or text message to let the subscriber know that an emergency condition exists on campus. MVCC gives students and staff the opportunity to voluntarily submit their preferred method of contact to SEMO, which will in turn set up a transmission database for those who have subscribed.

When will NY Alert be used?

Only in an emergency. Some examples might include an impending natural disaster, such as an approaching tornado, or an imminent crisis on campus, such as a fire, bomb threat, or armed suspect.

What will happen?

If an emergency exists, NY Alert will send a message to the subscriber letting them know of the emergency condition, and in most cases, specific instructions on what to do. A subscriber will receive the message as either an email, fax, phone call or text message, depending on what that subscriber has specified when they signed up for NY Alert.

How will I sign up for NY Alert?

MVCC provides a link through SIRS, our Internet- based student system, for all students and staff to enter their information into NY Alert. The information you enter is held as confidential and will only be used by SEMO to give you information during an emergency situation.

What does NY Alert cost?

Absolutely nothing. The service is free, and completely voluntary. You do not have to sign up for NY Alert unless you are interested in receiving information during an emergency situation. While we recommend subscribing to NY Alert, participation is not mandatory.

How do I get started?

Go to the SIRS link on the MVCC Web site (www.mvcc.edu) and login to your secure area. Once you are logged in, there will be instructions for submitting information for NY Alert.