System Alert Testing FAQ

Q. Why did I receive several phone calls?

A. SUNY NY-Alert tries to call your number up to three times. Each time, if the call is not answered or goes to voicemail, the number is placed in the “re-try” queue. It is important to “press a number” to hear the actual alert. If you fail to do so, the system will assume that you were not contacted. There were a number of individuals who received three phone calls on their phone with no recorded message. This may have been due to individuals not pressing a “number” to hear the message.

Q. Why did I receive a phone call at my home/office but not my cell phone?

A. Once the system has made contact with one of the phone numbers listed in the system it will not call the other numbers listed.

Q. Is there a voicemail message left if I miss the call?

A. The system is set up to “hear a voice” when a call is placed.  If it gets your voice mail, it will leave a call back number for you to call to retrieve the message.

In some instances, the call back number did not work during the recent test, but this issue has since been corrected.

Q. How often does the University test the SUNY-NY Alert system?

A. The University administers an “internal” test of the system every two weeks to a select group of on-campus individuals to ensure that system administrators are well-versed in activating the system. The University has adopted a “twice a year” standard for administering an all-campus test of the system – once in the fall and again in the spring. Every effort is made to schedule the all-campus tests at dates and times that would be the least disruptive to regular instructional activities.

Q. Can the alert to my telephone indicate that it’s a NY-Alert call?

A. SUNY/SEMO established a caller ID of “New York Alert” to appear on caller ID enabled phones. The number the alert was coming from is 518-292-2274.

Q. What if I am signed up for NY-Alert and didn’t receive an alert?

A. Less that one percent of those who “signed up” for the NY-Alert service did not receive either an e-mail, phone call or text message as part of the test. The State Emergency Management Office (SEMO) believes a “successful” alert to be one in which participants are “advised of the event” by any means possible. That is, either a telephone call, text or email message or “word of mouth.” While fewer that one percent of enrollees did not receive any alert, it is difficult to gauge whether they would have heard about the alert in a real emergency through “word of mouth.”

Q. I signed up for a text message but I did not receive one as part of the test. Why?

A. The cell provider is required (AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, etc.) as part of your profile in MyUAlbany in order to receive the text message. Furthermore, not receiving the text message can be due to a number of other factors including cell phones being turned off, no service at the time, text messages being dropped, cell provider software/hardware failure, or the text message network was busy.

Q. How do I sign up, confirm or change my information on SUNY-NY Alert?

A. If you have yet to sign-up for SUNY-NY Alert or wish to edit or confirm your current information you can still do so by logging on to MyUAlbany and clicking on “SUNY-NY ALERT Emergency Contact Info.”  This option will bring you to the screen where you can enter or edit your email address(es) and/or phone number(s).