NC State Emergency Communications For Parents

To Parent(s) & Families:

The purpose of this webpage is to inform you of a number of communication mechanisms in place to inform students of campus emergencies and to provide you with information on how you, as a parent or guardian, can become and remain informed during an emergency.  Also, we want to advise you of some additional resources available to you and your student to both prepare and prevent a personal emergency.  Finally, we recommend that you and your students establish a plan for how you will communicate with one another in the event of an emergency.  Cell phones are great, but it’s important to have a back up plan.

How NC State Communicates with Students During an Emergency

NC State’s approach is to use a broad array of communications tools to get the word out as quickly as possible to as many as possible.  Text messaging and audible alert systems are two new means the university has implemented. These mechanisms will typically be used to steer students to the University webpage for additional information.  The University may also utilize campus e-mail, campus TV, campus radio, as well as local media to communicate emergency information. The student may also receive communications from University Housing staff, such as Resident Advisors (RA's). Students have received an e-mail message highlighting these mean of emergency communication, with special emphasis on registering to receive emergency text messages and to review the Orientation for Emergency Preparedness and Response which resides at www.ncsu.edu/emergency-information.

Text Messaging – NC State has developed a system by which to send students, staff, and faculty a text message to their cell phone in the event of a campus emergency or university closing.  An alert will be sent to everyone who has registered his or her text-enabled cell phone.  Messages will contain brief safety instructions and/or brief details on where to get more information about the alert, i.e. NC State’s emergency website.  Students must register for this service online through the MyPack Portal.  This service is not intended for  family member registration. Please see below for means for parents to be kept informed during an emergency.

WolfAlert Audible Alert System – The WolfAlert system is an audible warning system which consists of speaker arrays mounted on poles or building roofs at various locations across campus. In the event of certain infrequent emergencies, either tones or brief messages will be broadcast over these speakers to notify persons located outside of buildings to take certain action.  Typically, this message will be to seek shelter in a nearby building and tune in to the various media described above for further information.  Additional information on the WolfAlert system is available at www.ncsu.edu/emergency-information.

How NC State Communicates with Parents/Families During an Emergency

In general, families may always get information about campus emergencies by going to http://www.ncsu.edu/emergency-information/ or by calling the university’s adverse weather and emergency hotline at 919.513.8888.

Additionally, the Office of Parents & Families Services works to keep students' families informed about important university information. In the event of a crisis, the office will send updates on any changes to university operations (class schedules, housing, dining, etc.) via the following means.

We do need to emphasize that parents/guardians should not contact the main emergency number, which is manned by campus police, to check on the status of an crisis situation. This can overload phone lines and hamper emergency personnel's ability to manage the situation.

Proactive Measures to Prepare / Prevent Emergencies

Safety is a shared responsibility.  There are many resources and strategies students should use to help prevent a personal or campus emergency.  These include, but are not limited to, the following which are available to your student at the Orientation to Emergency Preparedness and Procedures section at www.ncsu.edu/emergency-information.

  • All students should register for  campus emergency text messaging.
  • Read email announcements about campus crime updates.
  • Blue-Light Phones are strategically placed around campus, such that anyone can reach Campus Police with the touch of a button in an emergency.
  • Werewolf Shuttle – If out and about on campus after dark, students can take the Werewolf bus shuttle to a stop near their residence hall, park and ride lot, or area apartment complex.
  • Emergency Plan for Students with special needs  – Students with disabilities, such as a hearing impairment, should work with the Office of Disability Services and University Housing to make arrangements for emergency plans suitable for their needs.
  • Report suspicious activity.  Students should be vigilant about ensuring the safety of themselves and the community.  If they see or are aware of dangerous activity, they should contact Campus Police immediately, 919.515.3333 or 911.

 More information about the university’s emergency preparedness and communication plans are available on line at www.ncsu.edu/emergency-information.