What's changing and why does it matter?
In line with the recommendations of the Jutras Report, we're working hard to improve every aspect of our emergency communications planning. To help with this, on January 31 we'll be launching new software called Alertus. If an urgent situation arises, we'll be able to send a pop-up announcement to your computer. Once you've seen it, you'll be able to close the window and continue using your computer normally.
McGill is home to some 45,000 students, faculty and staff, and in an emergency we need a wide range of communications tools to reach as many people as possible. That's why we're adding Alertus to our emergency Web announcement and text messaging systems. While no system is perfect, Alertus will help us make McGill a safer place. We're also reviewing our protocols as to when and how we use these tools, and we'll report back to the McGill community once the review is complete.
How can I get Alertus on my computer?
- Windows desktops on campus that are maintained by ICS
Alertus will be automatically installed on every Windows desktop computer serviced by ICS. On January 31, you'll see a new icon appear on your Windows taskbar, at the bottom right of the page.
- Macs and laptops, and other McGill desktops
For technical reasons, we can't automatically install the software on these computers, but you can install it manually - to do this, visit http://kb.mcgill.ca/it/easylink/article.html?id=3552. We highly recommend that you install Alertus. If a dangerous situation threatens your safety on campus, you'll want to know about it as soon as possible.
- Home desktops
You can install Alertus on your home desktop and receive urgent messages at home. To do this, visit http://kb.mcgill.ca/it/easylink/article.html?id=3552.
Will McGill bug me with non-urgent announcements?
No. Aside from one or two tests each year, we'll only use this software for situations such as:
- An emergency that threatens the safety of the McGill community
- A crisis requiring evacuation
- A university closing or class cancellations due to extreme weather
We hope you'll never even know Alertus is there. In the event of a crisis though, you'll be glad it is.
Will Alertus slow down my computer?
No. It's a tiny program that shouldn't have any noticeable impact on your computer's performance.
I have more questions!
- For general questions about Alertus, contact the Emergency Measures Office at emergency.measures [at] mcgill.ca.
- For technical questions, contact the ICS service desk at customersupport.ist [at] mcgill.casupport.ist [at] mcgill.ca or 514-398-3398.