Large-scale test of McGill’s emergency communications tools


McGill University has built up a wide range of communications tools to help keep you safe in an emergency.  Depending on the situation and level of urgency, we can send you text messages (sign up through Minerva), post emergency announcements on the website and send pop-up warnings to most McGill computers (more info here).  Don’t worry, we won’t flood you with messages – we’ll only use these tools in a real urgent situation.

On Oct. 23, we’ll be testing many of these tools to make sure they’ll work if you ever need them.  Read the information below to find out whether/how these tests will affect you.

We’ll be testing:

SMS text messages

At 9:30am, we’ll start sending test messages to cell phones of students, staff and faculty who’ve signed up for this McGill | Attention! messaging service.  This is a powerful tool that’s designed to get you the information you need when you need it most, but to make sure you can receive these messages, you need to sign up now.

Pop-up messages on computer screens

At 9:30am we’ll send a pop-up test message to most desktops and many laptops across McGill’s campuses.  If you don’t receive a message by 12:00pm you’ll need to install Alertus software on your computer to make sure you can receive urgent messages in the future. website announcements

In a real crisis, is the place to go for the latest information on how to stay safe.  We’ll be testing our emergency Web announcements in three phases:

Phase 1
Between 9:00 - 10:30am: A banner message will appear at the top of all three homes pages (, and, and their French –language counterparts. Nothing will change on any other pages. This will allow us to test the basic functionality of the emergency web announcement system without restricting access to important web services during a period of high traffic.

Phase 2
Between 10:30 - 12:00pm: A test message will appear in a banner at the top of all pages. Users will be able to navigate the website normally.

Phase 3
Between 20:30 - 20.35pm: Visitors to McGill’s three home pages will see an emergency page featuring the test message. Other pages will be navigable, but will continue to display the banner at the top.

Phase 4
Between 20:35 – 20:40: we’ll take the system to the highest alert level. All traffic to all pages will be diverted to an emergency page displaying a test message.

Your feedback

If you have any questions about these tests, email us at emergency.measures [at]

Thank you.