UK Alert

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The University of Kentucky utilizes an emergency notification system, UK Alert, to communicate official information during an emergency or crisis situation that disrupts normal campus operations or threatens the health or safety of members of the campus community.


All University of Kentucky students, staff, and faculty are automatically registered in UK Alert with their official university e-mail address.  We encourage students, staff, and faculty to add other contact information, such as mobile numbers and personal e-mails, to their UK Alert accounts.  Parents, media, visitors, and other interested parties may register for UK Alert on a voluntary self-subscription basis. 


Depending on the emergency and the location, an alert may be sent using all of the methods, or a combination of the alert methods.


UK Alert uses the following methods to send immediate notifications:

  • Text Messages—sent to phone numbers that have been entered by the individual user.
  • Phone Calls—sent to phone numbers that have been entered by the individual user.
  • Email—to all uky.edu email addresses.
  • Outdoor Sirens—Blue Emergency Notification Towers are strategically placed at 26 locations across campus to provide outdoor alert tones and broadcast emergency messages.  These emergency notification towers are illuminated at all times and flash when activated.  The messages are pre-recorded and will provide basic information, such as “Dangerous Situation. Seek shelter immediately”.  More details, such as the location of the incident, will be provided in the text message, email, and on the VoIP phones.  One of the following emergency messages will be relayed over the loudspeakers within the blue emergency notification towers:
  1. All Clear - Listen
  2. Dangerous Situation (usually man-made event, i.e. active shooter or civil disturbance) - Listen
  3. Hazardous Condition (usually a natural occurring incident, i.e. earthquake, hazardous material release, fire, or gas leak) - Listen
  4. Tornado Warning - Listen
  5. Test - Listen
  • VoIP Desktop Phones—University of Kentucky has approximately 5,300 Voice over Internet Protocol phones throughout main campus and in some off campus offices incorporated within the Alert system.  As UKIT continues to add VoIP phones to the system, these phones will automatically be added to the UK Alert system.  UK HealthCare buildings are excluded from VoIP notifications; UK HealthCare will provide coded messages over its system. When UK Alert is activated, one of the following messages will broadcast over the VoIP phones and an accompanying text message with more detail will be displayed on the phone’s screen.
  1. All Clear - Listen
  2. Dangerous Situation (usually man-made event, e.g., active shooter or civil disturbance) - Listen
  3. Hazardous Condition (usually a naturally occurring incident, e.g., earthquake, hazardous material release, fire, or gas leak) - Listen
  4. Tornado Warning - Listen
  5. Test - Listen

UK Alert is designed for use only when an incident disrupts normal campus operations or threatens the immediate health and safety of the campus community. Other forms of communication that UK may use to broadcast messages are:

  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • University website
  • Local news outlets
  • Insight Cable channels 16 and 219

Effective emergency response requires personal preparedness and planning.  We encourage you to edit your UK Alert account to include multiple forms of notification as just one part of your personal emergency preparedness plan.  For more information on emergency planning at UK and ideas for personal preparedness, click here.

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Page last updated: November 5, 2013