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Emergency Notification System Frequently Asked Questions

Q) What is the Emergency Notification System?
A) The Emergency Notification System is a communications service that Upstate provides for all students, faculty and staff. All students, faculty and staff can voluntarily register to receive alerts about threats of imminent danger at or near any Upstate location. This service is used in conjunction with other communication channels including on campus paging announcements and campus-wide e-mail.

Q) How do I sign up?
A) The next time you log into VIP you will be asked to sign up to receive alerts. 

If you do not know how to log into your VIP account please contact the help desk at extension 5257. 

Q) What if I don’t have a cell phone?
A) This Emergency Notification System is used primarily as a text messaging system through cell phone services, including cell phone voice messaging. But there are other ways the system can notify you such as e-mail, and work/home or alternate phone.

Q) Can my parents or other family members also sign up so they’ll know what’s going on?
A) If you use your parents number as the work/alternate phone number they will receive the alerts.  

Q) Is there a cost if I sign up?
A) The university is not charging students, faculty or staff for this service; however, depending on your agreement with your mobile phone provider, you may incur charges for text messages. Please check with your provider to understand your charges.

Q) What kind of situations will this notification process be used for?
A) The university will only send you messages when circumstances arise posing a threat of imminent danger. Emergencies such as, but not limited to, fire, tornado, hazardous materials spill, or an act of violence. The system may also be tested several times throughout the year to ensure effectiveness.

Q) Will this be used for weather-related closures?
A) This will only be used for weather-related emergencies if there is an imminent danger such as a tornado or a snow storm with immediate impacts on the university’s normal business operations.

Q) How long will it take to get a message when something is happening?
A) It depends on the situation, but this system is designed to deliver essential information quickly.

Q) What do I do if I change my cell phone carrier?
A) If one of your phone numbers or your email address changes, you will need to log on to your VIP account and update this information.

Q) What information do I have to provide when I sign up?
A) Either a cell phone number and cell service provider, e-mail address or work/alternate phone number.  You may provide all three in order to be sure to receive some form of alert. 

Q) Will my personal contact information be kept private by the university?
A) Your information will be kept confidential and only used for the emergency notification process.

Q) Who do I contact if I’m signed up but didn’t get a message during a threatening situation?
A) Please contact the Help Desk at 503-5257. 

Still have questions, or do not see the screen when you log into VIP…             

Call 864-503-5257 or e-mail helpdesk@uscupstate.edu.

Additional Information
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Helpful Links
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Department of Homeland Security
Pandemic Flu Individual Planning

Contact Us
USC Upstate
University Police Department
800 University Way
Spartanburg, SC 29303
Phone: 864-503-5911 or
864-503-5269
Fax: 864-503-5873
Faculty/Staff Directory