What is Bear Alert?
Bear Alert is a mass notification system comprised of e-mail, voice and text messaging that is designed to send emergency messages to thousands of individuals in minutes. It supplements existing means of emergency communication, including outdoor warning sirens and severe weather alert radios.
Everyone who has a Bevill State e-mail address will receive emergency alerts to their campus e-mail address. In order to also receive text and voice message alerts, members of the campus community will be asked to provide phone contact information. While participation in the text and voice messaging notification is optional, enrollment is strongly encouraged. The information you supply is considered confidential and will not be shared or used for other purposes. You will only be contacted through the system in the event of an emergency.
BSCC students, faculty and staff have the opportunity to provide a primary mobile phone number for receipt of text messages, and up to three other phone numbers (mobile or other) for receipt of voice messages. Emergency messages will be sent via a system provided by the High Ground Solutions/SchoolCast. Bear Alert will be used in tandem with other campus communication tools.
How does Bear Alert work?
Bear Alert is a hosted and managed system. You will not need special hardware or software to receive messages. It is a multi-modal service that can disseminate emergency messages through:
E-mail: An alert message will be sent to your official campus e-mail address. You can also specify a secondary e-mail address for receiving these alerts.
SMS text messages: Faculty, staff and students may choose to register a cell phone number for receiving SMS text messages through Bear Alert.
Voice messages: Faculty, staff and students may choose to register up to three additional phone numbers with Bear Alert. Voice messages will be sent to these phone numbers.
What kind of alerts will be sent?
The system will only be used to distribute information regarding emergencies that dictate immediate action. Examples of alerts include severe weather, building evacuations, dangers requiring lock-down or shelter-in-place, or other emergencies requiring immediate action. The message will direct you where to go for further information or what action to take. Following a warning, the alert system may be used to provide additional messages or an “all-clear” announcement. The Bear Alert notification system will also be tested on a routine basis to ensure that we are able reach all Bear Alert participants in the event of an emergency. Less urgent messages will be sent using your campus email account.
Why should I sign up for the Bear Alert voice and text message components?
Because students, faculty and staff are constantly on the move, this system provides the flexibility for you to receive emergency messages on multiple devices. Bear Alert will be used to distribute important information regarding emergencies that dictate immediate action. It will be used along with other tools including severe weather alert radios, e-mail, the College web site, local media and other methods.
Can I opt out of the system after I sign up and can I update my contact information after I have registered?
You can opt not to receive text or voice mail alerts, however, you cannot opt out from receiving an alert on your official campus email address. You can log into Bear Alert at any time to update or delete your contact information. Whenever your phone number or alternate e-mail address changes, it is very important that you update this information with Bear Alert to ensure you continue to receive alerts through the system.
How soon will I have the capability to receive text or voice mail emergency messages after I sign up?
You will be able to receive emergency messages within 24 hours of sign up. The system is updated on a daily basis.
Are there any costs involved if I sign up for the system?
If you do not have a text messaging contract as part of your cellular service, there may be a small charge for any text messages that you receive. You should check with your cell phone carrier to determine what these costs may be. There is no fee assessed student, faculty and staff for gaining access to the system.
How can I recognize messages from Bear Alert?
E-mail: sent from Bear Alert will come from bear firstname.lastname@example.org.
SMS text messages: Text messages will begin with "Bear Alert" and number().
Voice messages: The phone number you will see in your caller ID will be (). You should program this number into your phone so you will immediately recognize it as an urgent call.
Will my contact information remain secure, and will it be used for any other purposes?
The information collected for Bear Alert is securely maintained and will not be shared. It is only used for notification of emergencies requiring immediate action.
Where can I find additional information about emergency situations?
During an emergency, details and updated information regarding the specific emergency will be provided on the BSCC home page at www.bscc.edu