The DukeALERT System will send faculty, staff and students short message service (SMS) text messages in the event of an emergency. The service is offered at no charge, but standard text messaging rates may apply, according to your agreement with your wireless service provider. Read more about DukeALERT below, or register for emergency text messaging.

    Why is Duke offering this service?

    Duke’s emergency communication approach is based on redundancy, relying on multiple methods to reach members of the university and health system, as well as parents, alumni, visitors and the news media.

    Duke’s goal is to send timely alerts after being notified of an emergency situation. While other means may be used, the primary methods of alerting people include e-mail, public address systems and text messaging.

    What is a text message?

    Text messaging (or texting) is the common term for sending short (160 characters or fewer, including spaces) text messages from mobile phones or devices using the Short Message Service (SMS).  The DukeALERT text messaging system will send short notifications to mobile devices that have been registered to receive these messages. Because the length of these messages is limited, users will typically be referred to for more details about the emergency.

    Who can subscribe?

    Any Duke student, faculty member or staff member with a valid NetID can register to receive messages on a mobile number with text messaging service.

    When will Duke send an emergency text message?

    Emergency text messaging will be used to alert Duke community members of imminent danger. For instance, if a tornado was sighted in the area, Duke officials would send a DukeALERT text message instructing people to seek shelter. The university will also send test messages as part of periodic testing of the DukeALERT system.

    How much does the service cost?

    There is no additional cost for this service. However, standard text messaging rates apply based on an individual’s agreement with his/her cell phone service provider.

    How do I sign up?

    Faculty and staff can register through the Duke@Work self-service website. Students must enter a mobile phone number in their profile in the ACES system.

    Will my cell phone number be published or shared with others?

    Cell phone numbers registered for text messaging will be maintained in Duke’s systems and will be considered confidential personnel or student information, which is managed under strict privacy guidelines. Cell phone numbers will not appear in the online directory unless you add it as one of your preferred numbers in your directory listing.

    Is message delivery guaranteed?

    The company providing Duke’s text messaging service will send all messages; however, message delivery cannot be guaranteed due to factors beyond its control, such as service problems from an individual’s cell phone service provider, poor reception, or other problems.

    What if I want to stop receiving messages?

    Faculty and staff can unsubscribe by visiting the Duke@Work self-service website and removing their cell phone number(s) from the site.

    Can I respond to the text message?

    No. This is a notification system only; it does not support two-way communication.

    Can I get emergency text messaging on multiple phones?

    Faculty and staff can register their work cell phone number and their personal or other cell phone number through the Duke@Work self-service website.

    If I have a Duke cell phone or mobile device as part of my work, am I automatically registered for emergency text messages?

    Yes. All faculty or staff with a Duke-purchased cell phone or mobile device are automatically added to the emergency text messaging service.

    How do I change my cell phone number?

    Faculty and staff can change the mobile number for emergency text messages by visiting the Duke@Work self-service website. Students can update their cell number in the ACES system under their profile.

    Can I use a special ring tone for an emergency text?

    It depends on your cell phone capabilities. You may need to contact your phone company to inquire.

    When I register, how long will it take for the service to begin?

    Due to system processing and activation, please allow one business day after registering or making changes to your mobile number for test messages to be distributed.

    Can I register my international wireless phone number for Duke’s text messaging service?

    International numbers can be registered to receive text messages.