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Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Hawk Alert System?

The Hawk Alert System notifies the campus community of threats to physical safety in emergency situations: tornado, violence, hazardous material incident, etc.

Notification is by mobile phone (including text messaging), landline phone, TTY phone (for the hearing-impaired), and/or e-mail, as well as via posts to the university's Facebook and Twitter accounts and emergency information website at emergency.uiowa.edu. In conjunction with the Hawk Alert System, the UI Department of Public Safety has installed a series of notification towers equipped with sirens and voice alert systems that also will help ensure that those on campus hear certain types of alerts (such as tornado warnings).

When entering data for use by the Hawk Alert System, may I include contact information for a spouse or significant other, or parent(s), so that they'll be alerted during emergencies?

No. We ask that you include only your own contact information for Hawk Alerts (UI students and employees, not friends and relatives). The notifications are intended for members of the university community for emergencies on or near campus, and including other individuals has the potential to slow down the notification process.

What is the best way to receive Hawk Alert messages?

Text messaging is the preferred method as it is the fastest and most reliable.

What phone number and email address will Hawk Alerts come from?

Hawk Alerts come from these numbers and addresses.

Telphone: 319-335-5911

Text (SMS): 23177 or 63079

email display name = UNIVERSITY OF IOWA
email id = email@blackboard.com

How long does it take to get notified?

The Hawk Alert system typically makes notifications within 15 minutes, although there are variables that can increase the delivery time.

Why doesn't everyone get notified?

A Hawk Alert typically reaches 90% of the approximately 50,000 individuals and classrooms on campus. The system is unable to reach 100% of individuals on the list because in some cases recipients may not have updated their contact information when it changed, or may not answer the Hawk Alert phone call.

Who is responsible for declaring an emergency and sending out a Hawk Alert?

The UI Department of Public Safety usually will initiate emergency notifications except for winter weather-related class cancellation notifications, which are initiated by University Communication and Marketing in consultation with the Vice President for Student Life. The Office of the President also has the authority and ability to initiate Hawk Alerts.

If you have an emergency or encounter an emergency situation on campus, you should immediately call 911.

After a Hawk Alert is issued, where can I find more details about the emergency?

The university's emergency information website at emergency.uiowa.edu and the UI homepage at www.uiowa.edu will have the most up-to-date information available.

What action should I take if I do receive a Hawk Alert?

Depending on the nature of the emergency situation and details available at the time, the initial Hawk Alert may or may not include instructions on how recipients should respond. It's best to think of the Hawk Alert as a kind of flare gun to alert students, faculty, and staff that a potentially dangerous situation has occurred, or is occurring, and what the nature of the emergency is.

More detailed information will be posted, as it becomes available, on the university's emergency information website at emergency.uiowa.edu. But students, faculty, and staff are also encouraged to use common sense and tune in to local media broadcasts for updated and more detailed information.