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Upcoming test of McGill | Attention! service


Published: 13 Oct 2011

On Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2011, there will be a university-wide test of our automated notification service, McGill | Attention! The test will occur at approximately 10:40 a.m.

While we anticipate that disruptions will be minimal, there will be some impact on classes at that time. We thank you for your understanding as we test this very important service.

Here's how the test will work:

McGill | Attention!:

A text (SMS) message will be sent to all cell phones that have been opted in to the notification service. If you have opted in, you will see a text message on your cell phone originating from the number 624455. Please read the text message.

If a cell phone provider is not supported for SMS via our service, a voice message will be sent to all student, faculty and staff cell phones that have been opted into the notification service. You will see a voice call originating from 514-398-8700. Please pick up the phone, say "Hello" and listen to the message.

A voice message will be sent to all faculty, staff office phones, and classroom phones. You will see a call originating from 514-398-8700. Please pick up the phone, say "Hello" and listen to the message.

McGill Homepage:

A three-phase emergency test message will be posted on the McGill Homepage (www.mcgill.ca).  All www.mcgill.ca web pages will be temporarily redirected to the homepage.

1.    Phase 1: At 10:40 a.m., a banner will appear at the top of all McGill pages, with the following message:

IMPORTANT NOTICE: As part of the Campus-Wide Emergency Notification Test which includes the McGill's emergency Web communications system, the www.mcgill.ca website will be unavailable from 9:15 p.m. until 9:30 p.m. on Oct. 19, 2011.  myMcGill and Minerva will not be affected.


2.     Phase 2: At 9:00 p.m. that evening, we escalate to a level-2 announcement, diverting all McGill home page traffic to the McGill Emergency Announcements Website, where our emergency announcements will be displayed.  After they have viewed this page once, users will be free to navigate the McGill website normally.  As well, this announcement will appear in a yellow banner at the top of every page on the McGill website.  The same message as above will be used.


3.       Phase 3: At 9:15 p.m., all traffic to www.mcgill.ca will be redirected to the McGill Emergency Announcements Website.  Again, the same message as above will be used.


Expected Disruptions:

  • There may be noise in the form of phones ringing and chatter in the classrooms for some time after 10:40 a.m.  It is difficult to predict how long the chatter will continue.
  • There may be noise in the form of phones ringing and chatter in the libraries, open areas, and cubicle spaces for some time after 10:40 a.m.
  • Voice messages may result in heavy traffic on the service provider network, causing the potential for a service disruption or, at worst, a network crash.  Text messages alone will not put a strain on the service provider's networks.
  • Between 9:00 p.m. and 9:15 p.m. access to www.mcgill.ca will be redirected once to the McGill Emergency Announcement Website.  Users will be free to navigate to other McGill sites after the first redirect.
  • Between 9:15 p.m. and 9:30 p.m., all traffic to www.mcgill.ca will be redirected to the McGill Emergency Announcement Website. Therefore, users will be unable to consult other McGill affiliated web pages.  The homepage will effectively be "blocked".

After The Test:

Sign up now:

  • If you have not done so already, please go to Minerva and sign up for the automated notification service. Click the "Personal" tab and then "Mobile Devices" to sign up for this service. It only takes a minute and will connect you to a service that will deliver important messages about the university concerning your safety and wellbeing. More information regarding the sign up process can be found at: www.mcgill.ca/it/ansinfo.
  • Only 1 mobile device number may be opted-in to McGill Attention!.  If you have opted-in more than 1 number, by default only the first number entered was transferred to the new ANS database.
  • It is now necessary for you to indicate the service provider for the mobile phone number provided (Bell, Rogers, Virgin Mobile, Koodo, etc.).  Select the appropriate carrier from the drop down menu.  If your service provider is not among the providers listed, select OTHER and manually enter the name of the provider.
  • Once the service provider has been entered, you will be informed of what type of notification you will receive (text or voicemail), depending on whether the service provider is supported by the ANS for the reception of SMS messages.  If the provider is not supported, you will receive a voice message, rather than an SMS.
  • We ask that you carefully review all of the numbers listed and correct or delete any invalid entries.  Keep in mind that only the first number will be used by McGill Attention to communicate with you.
  • Please note that although 4 more local and international phone numbers may be entered in the field and included in our database, they will not be contacted via voice or SMS.  They may however be used by authorized university services, such as the Registrar's Office, to contact you should the need arise.

Thank you.

Contact Information

Contact: Emergency Measures Office
Source Site: /channels
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