Emergency Communication FAQ

Emergency Communication FAQ

Temple University recognizes its responsibility to provide accurate and timely information to the campus community during situations, incidents or emergencies that pose a threat or hazard on campus or within the university patrol zone and that require immediate action.

Frequently Asked Questions

Email Notifications

TUalerts sent by email will soon feature one of three colors. Red refers to an emergency incident. Yellow refers to updates or informational events. Green signals an incident is over and police have cleared the area. The colors will only appear in the headlines of email alerts, since text messaging does not have the ability to incorporate color. 

All temple.edu email accounts are automatically registered to receive TUalerts and all mobile numbers registered on TUportal will receive text messages unless the user opts out.

What policies are in place for campus communication in an emergency?

TUalerts are sent in accordance with the Temple University Emergency Communications and Timely Warnings Policy. Temple University’s emergency communication compliance exceeds U.S. Department of Education and Clery Act guidelines.

What procedures are in place to notify the campus community in an emergency?

Immediately following confirmation of a dangerous situation or emergency that poses an immediate threat or hazard to the university community on campus or within the university patrol zone, Temple University will initiate the campus notification process. Notifications may be sent by the Temple University Police Department (TUPD), the Office of Emergency Management, Facilities Management or another authorized user depending on the situation. 

In a public safety emergency, TUPD dispatchers will contact the on-call commander who will authorize dispatchers to send a TUalert message to the Temple University community. 

What type of information is included in TUalerts?

TUalerts typically contain the type of incident, location and any change of behavior that is necessary. For example, in a chemical spill emergency, recipients will be notified about where the incident is occurring and will be directed to shelter-in-place in a safe location. 

What are timely warnings?

Timely warnings are used to communicate information about events that show a pattern that suggests an on-going threat to the community. In isolation, these events may seem innocuous, but taken together, indicate a need for increased vigilance or safety precautions. Information about this pattern of events is sent via email to the Temple University community and includes additional details and information on potential actions. Timely warnings also include tips for reducing risks and resources available to the university community to aid in prevention.

Why don’t TUalerts include more detail about the incident?

TUalerts are meant to be brief public safety warnings about an ongoing threat or danger. Only the most essential information is included so that recipients understand the situation and the action steps needed (e.g., avoid the area or shelter-in-place). If more information is obtained that will contribute to safety, a follow-up TUalert may be sent.

Why doesn’t every criminal incident include a TUalert?

The Temple University Police Department has criteria for sending TUalerts related to criminal activity. TUalerts are sent when there is a perceived threat to the university community. If an arrest or apprehension is made, a TUalert is not dispatched. Alerts must also be timely, so if an incident is reported hours after it occurred, an alert is not sent. 

When are TUalerts sent?

TUalerts are used to communicate information about a situation, incident or emergency on campus or within the university patrol zone that presents an imminent threat (e.g., a person with a weapon) or hazard (e.g., severe weather) and is deemed an emergency requiring immediate action (e.g., avoiding the area where the situation, incident, or emergency occurred). 

How are TUalerts sent?

TUalerts are sent via text message and email. You can also follow @TempleAlert on Twitter to receive updates.

What is TUsiren?

TUsiren is an outdoor warning siren system used to alert the campus community about an imminent threat or hazard on campus or within in the university patrol zone that may require the university community to either shelter-in-place or lockdown

TUalerts will be sent along with the activation of the TUsiren system, which signals to the campus community to go indoors and remain there for further instruction. If the TUsiren is activated, the community should wait for an “All Clear'' message via the TUalert to indicate that it is safe to resume normal activity. 

Who receives TUalerts?

Temple University students, faculty, and staff.

How does the Temple University community sign up for TUalerts?

All temple.edu-associated email accounts are automatically registered to receive TUalerts, but individual mobile devices must be registered in TUportal

How can parents and family members receive TUalerts?

The TUalert distribution list targets current and recently graduated students and employees to help ensure our campus community receives safety information as quickly as possible.

Temple University posts the same information from TUalerts to @TempleAlert on Twitter. We encourage parents and family to follow this account or visit https://twitter.com/TempleAlert (you do not need a Twitter account to view this page).

Should parents or family members have questions or concerns, please email parents@temple.edu.

I just graduated, why am I still receiving TUalerts? 

Alumni of the university will continue to receive TUalerts for one year after graduation.