The University of Massachusetts Amherst

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Why should I subscribe?

No one can predict when a campus emergency will occur, or where you will be when it happens. If you have a cell phone, UMass Amherst Alerts text messages will provide urgent, time-sensitive information directly to you, whatever your location. Subscribers will receive a message labeled 'UMass Amherst Alert' transmitted from '67283 or 226787' (the SMS Text shortcodes used by our service provider, Rave Mobile Safety)

Who can subscribe?

To ensure the prompt delivery of messages to the people directly affected by an incident on campus, the service is limited to students, faculty and staff.

How many cell phone numbers and e-mail addresses are allowed to receive UMass Amherst Alerts?

Students, faculty, and staff can register two cell phone numbers to receive text messages and two e-mail addresses to receive UMass Amherst Alerts. The one additional non-UMass e-mail address is in addition to every active student, faculty, and staff member's primary e-mail address which is automatically included in the emergency notification system.

Will I receive UMass Amherst Alerts text messages immediately?

Most subscribers receive the UMass Amherst Alerts test message within 5 minutes. Please note that emergency text messaging at UMass Amherst is offered on a best-effort basis. This means that the University cannot guarantee that text messages will be sent during every emergency or that all subscribers will receive these messages.

How will the university use my cell phone number?

Subscribers' cell phones will remain confidential and will be used only for emergency notifications by UMass Amherst. The data will not be used for marketing purposes or other non-emergency communications.

Does the service cost anything to use?

Subscribing to emergency text messages is free. However, your cell phone carrier may charge you to receive text messages. Please check with your phone company for details.

What should I do when I receive a UMass Amherst Alerts text message?

UMass Amherst Alerts messages will provide instructions about what you should do. If you are a student and are in class, tell your instructor about the message. (Please adhere to your instructors' policies about cell phone use.)

Where can I get help with UMass Amherst Alerts text messages?

For technical questions, including how to subscribe to UMass Amherst Alerts text messages, contact the OIT Support Center at 413-545-9400 or

If you have a documented ADA-defined disability and need help subscribing, please contact Disability Services at 413-545-0892.

How do I opt out of receiving text messages if my phone number was accidently placed into the system?

You can opt out of receiving text messages by texting STOP to 67283 or 226787.


I received a Crime Alert email message from the UMPD. How are Crime Alerts different from UMass Amherst Alerts?

The delivery methods of the two alert types differ, and are dependent upon the level of the threat and how quickly the campus must respond to it.

Crime Alerts are issued whenever a crime or series of crimes, on campus or in the surrounding communities, is considered to pose a continuing risk to students and employees. Crime Alerts are distributed via email to the 'all-campus' mailing list and are posted on the UMass Police Department (UMPD) Web site. Printed copies are also posted in each of the residence halls.

UMass Amherst Alerts are issued to notify the campus community of imminent or ongoing threats to safety, security or health. They are disseminated with the goal of notifying as many people as possible, as rapidly as possible. UMass Amherst Alerts are distributed using SMS text messaging, broadcast emails, the UMass Web site, and the Emergency Closing Hotline (413-545-3630).