One of the best ways to protect yourself in an emergency situation is to stay informed. In the event of a significant emergency or dangerous situation, Amherst College may notify the community using AC Alert. AC Alert is designed to provide students, faculty, and staff with information that may be critical to your safety via text, voice, email, desktop alerts, digital signage, and outdoor speakers.

Update Your Contact Information

Students

Log in to ACData and select “Address, Telephone and Mass Notification” to submit your contact information.

Employees

Log in to ACData and select “Emergency Contact Information” to submit your contact information.

Visitors, Contractors, etc.

In addition to receiving AC Alert messages via digital signage and outdoor speakers, visitors can receive AC Alert messages on an iOS or Android device. After installing "Alertus" from the iOS App Store or Google Play Store, be sure to allow notifications from the app. Enter "Amherst" when asked for an organization code, and you'll then be set up to receive AC Alert messages on your phone.

Emergency Notification Policy

This policy is excerpted from the Annual Security and Fire Safety Report for calendar year 2017. For more information, visit https://www.amherst.edu/offices/campus_police/general_safety/stats.

It is the policy of Amherst College to provide, without delay, immediate notification to the community upon confirmation of an incident or emergency that poses an immediate threat to the health or safety of the AC community.

Amherst has implemented a Mass Notification system, Everbridge, Inc., a service that allows College officials to reach students and staff with time-sensitive information during unforeseen events or emergencies.

The system uses voice, e-mail, and text messaging to broadcast pertinent information and, when appropriate, provide directions to those in the affected area(s). The College has also installed an outdoor auditory speaker system to use in conjuncture with Everbridge. Additionally, the Amherst College main webpage (www.amherst.edu) may be used to provide emergency notification information. Community members and visitors may now also download the Alertus application onto their mobile device from the app store. Instructions can be found by following this link: https://www.amherst.edu/emergency/node/521933.

Amherst College has created policy defining when the Mass Notification system will be used, without delay and taking into account the safety of the community, determine the content of the notification and initiate the notification system unless such notification will, in the professional judgment of responsible authorities, compromise efforts to assist a victim or to contain, respond to, investigate or otherwise mitigate an emergency.

Those titles that may authorize and make the decision to distribute and activate an Emergency Mass Notification include:

  1. President
  2. Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer
  3. Chief Financial and Administrative Officer 
  4. Chief Student Affairs Officer 
  5. Dean of Faculty
  6. Dean of Admission and Financial Aid
  7. Chief of Campus Operations
  8. Chief of Staff
  9. Chief Information Officer
  10. Chief Advancement Officer
  11. Chief Communications Officer
  12. Chief Policy Officer and General Counsel
  13. Director of Emergency Preparedness
  14. Chief of Amherst College Police 
  15. Environmental Health and Safety Director
  16. Director of Media Communications
  17. Deputy Chief of Police
  18. Police Sergeants

The following positions are authorized to develop and initiate the immediate (emergency) notifications to the community:

System to use

Primary Message

Backup Message Creator

Authority for approving & sending messages

Primary Message Sender

Backup Message Sender

PRIMARY

         

Text Message (AC-Alerts)

Chief of Police

Chief Communications Officer, Director of Media Communications and Designee in ACPD Chief Communications Officer, Director of Media Communications and Designee in ACPD Chief of Police Chief Communications Officer, Director of Media Communications and Designee in ACPD

Emergency Mass Communication (AC-Alert)

Chief of Police

Chief Communications Officer, Director of Media Communications and Designee in ACPD

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Chief Communications Officer, Director of Media Communications and Designee in ACPD

Chief of Police

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Chief Communications Officer, Director of Media Communications and Designee in ACPD

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SECONDARY

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Outdoor Warning System

*

*

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Both Chief of Police, Designee in ACPD, and Office of Public Affairs

Dispatcher

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N/A

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Campus Wide Email Broadcast (All User Email)

Chief of Police

Chief Communications Officer, Director of Media Communications and Designee in ACPD

Chief Communications Officer, Director of Media Communications and Designee in ACPD

Chief of Police

Chief Communications Officer, Director of Media Communications and Designee in ACPD

Website

Director of Media Communi cations

Chief Communications Officer

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Chief Communications Officer

Director of Media Communications

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Chief Communications Officer

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Fire Alarm System (to communicate the need to evacuate the building)

*

*

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ACPD staff member or Environmental Health and Safety

ACPD Staff Member

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Environmental Health and Safety

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*System does not require development of a message.

  • The person listed above who creates and initiates the notification will determine the appropriate segment or segments of the community to receive the message.

  • Some or all of the systems listed above will be used to communicate follow-up information to the AC community.

  • Members of the larger community, such as neighbors, can use the website to receive updated information about an emergency on campus.

  • When at all possible, the authorized individual considering an emergency notification shall attempt to consult with another colleague from the list of individuals authorized to make a decision to distribute an immediate (emergency) notification to the community to confirm the need for an immediate notification to the community. Certain emergencies will preclude consultation. There may be times when timeliness (time of day, immediate need to know) is more critical than inclusion and consultation.

  • Mass notifications may use any combination of methods and most notifications require the use of the some or all of the AC-Alert system, but do not necessarily require the use of the outside audible speakers.