MIT Alert FAQs
What is MIT Alert?
MIT Alert is the Institute’s comprehensive emergency notification program that sends electronic notifications to the MIT community in the event of an emergency that may cause a threat to the life safety or negatively affect Institute operations.
How do I sign up?
Current students, employees, and affiliates are automatically registered to the system with the primary email address listed in the HR system (typically “@mit.edu”) and their mobile phone number associated with Duo. Extended Community members can sign up here.
Can I customize my contact information?
Yes, you can add additional email addresses and phone numbers to your individual account.
Students, employees, and affiliates can access their account through the Rave Alert portal (authentication required).
Extended Community members can customize the account they created through the Smart911 portal.
If I don’t provide a cell phone or mobile device number, will I still be contacted?
If we don’t have your cell phone or mobile device number, we will attempt to contact you through other means, such as your MIT email address. However, we strongly recommend that you provide multiple methods of contact information, such as a cell phone or mobile device number, to improve MIT’s ability to contact you quickly in an emergency.
Will I receive unsolicited text messages on my cell phone or mobile device?
No. The cell phone or mobile device number you provide will be used solely for emergency notifications. Your contact information will not be published or shared.
Where is the personal information stored and how will it be used?
Personal information is stored securely in WebSIS (for students) or Employee Self-Service (for faculty and staff). Any information provided for MIT Alert emergency notifications will be used by MIT only in the event of an emergency that causes a threat to the life safety and health of the MIT community and requires you to take action to stay safe.
What is the difference between “Emergency Contact” and “Emergency Notification” information?
Emergency notification information (MIT Alert) is used to contact you in the event of an emergency that causes a threat to the life safety and health of the MIT community and requires you to take action to stay safe. Emergency contact information is a family member or other person you designate who should be contacted if you were involved in an accident or otherwise injured while at MIT.
How will I be notified in an emergency?
In the event of an emergency that causes a threat to the life safety and health of the MIT community and requires you to take action to stay safe, the MIT Alert system will disseminate messages to all contact information contained within your profile. This includes email, text message, and voice messages. In addition, messages may also be displayed on emergency.mit.net, digital signage throughout campus (e.g. TV screens in the Infinite Corridor), the MIT homepage, and the MIT Alert social media pages (Twitter and Facebook).
How quickly can I expect to receive an emergency message after an incident occurs on campus?
Our process enables us to disseminate emergency notification messages within minutes of learning about and confirming an emergency that is causing a threat to the life safety and health of the MIT community. Initial messages will be brief and only contain essential information (what is happening, location, and actions to take). We will follow up on these initial messages with up-to-date information and advisories on the MIT emergency website and when we have actionable information to send to the community. However, given the nature and scope of the emergency and the operational status of the Institute or the surrounding community, there may be unexpected delays in the delivery of any message that relies on outside service providers (e.g., cellular carriers) or electrical power. We encourage you to prepare yourself in advance for a campus emergency and solidify communications within your DLC and/or residence hall as well.
What should I do if I get an alert?
Please follow any instructions provided in the MIT Alert as well as those provided by Institute or emergency personnel (MIT Police, Cambridge Police/Fire, etc.). Additional details about the emergency will be posted on MIT’s emergency website.
Who is responsible for sending alerts?
MIT Emergency Management and MIT Police are responsible for and authorized to send MIT Alerts to the MIT community. All individuals within these offices who are authorized to send alerts are trained and regularly tested on the MIT Alert system.
Will I be contacted by MIT Alert for closures or cancellations (e.g. winter weather)?
How do I know if my cell phone or mobile device is capable of receiving text messages?
If you are not sure whether your cell phone or mobile device can successfully receive text messages, you should check with your service provider.
Will I be charged for MIT Alert text messages or voice calls?
Costs associated with incoming text messages or cellular minutes is dictated by the plan you have with your cellular service provider, regardless of their origin.
How do I unsubscribe from MIT Alert?
Students, employees, and affiliates can add or remove contact methods by accessing their account through the Rave Alert portal (Touchstone authentication). Note: all contact methods except your primary email address (typically “@mit.edu”) can be removed via this method.
Extended Community members can unsubscribe by accessing the account they created through the Smart911 portal.
Can parents, spouses, or others subscribe to receive MIT Alerts?
Yes, “Extended Community” members can subscribe by creating an account through the Smart911 portal.
In addition, alerts are also posted to publicly available sources such as the MIT emergency webpage and on social media on Facebook (MIT Alert, MIT EM, and MIT Police) and Twitter (@MITAlert, @MITprepared and @MITPolice). During emergencies, we urge members of the MIT community to be in touch with their families directly to communicate their status.
Can MIT visitors and guests register to receive alerts?
Yes. Visitors and guests are encouraged to sign up by visiting MIT Alert and clicking on the “Extended Community Sign Up” button.
Where else can I get information during campus emergencies?
In the event of an emergency, updates will be posted to:
- MIT’s homepage
- MIT’s emergency website
- Facebook (MIT Alert, MIT Police and MIT Emergency Management)
- Twitter (@MITAlert, @MITPolice, and @MITprepared)
Where do I go if I have additional questions or need technical support?
If you have questions or experience any problems, please email email@example.com.