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ODU Alerts

ODU Alerts is Old Dominion's urgent notification system, comprised of a variety of methods by which the university can contact students, faculty, and staff, including:

  • Text messages (SMS) to mobile devices
  • Instant messages (AOL, MSN, and Yahoo)
  • Calls to home, office, and mobile phone numbers
  • E-mails to non-Old Dominion addresses

Click below to manage your ODU Alerts contact information

Frequently Asked Questions

How does ODU Alerts work?

ODU Alerts allows you to list up to six contact methods. During an urgent situation, the ODU Alerts system will begin cycling through your points of contact to deliver the alert, starting with the first available. When you receive the message, it is very important that you confirm receipt when prompted. If no confirmation is received, ODU Alerts will continue cycling through your points of contact.

How can I sign up for ODU Alerts?

The ODU Alerts system is open to all registered students, faculty and staff of Old Dominion University.  Using your MIDAS ID and password to log in, you can register the contact paths that are best for you.

When and under what circumstances will the university use ODU Alerts?

Campus-wide e-mail is the primary communications vehicle for reaching the university community.  In addition to important administrative, need-to-know information, it is also used in emergencies. It is supplemented by ODU Alerts, the Old Dominion after-hours information hotline (757-683-3000), postings on the ODU website, the university switchboard, and sometimes the public media. 

ODU Alerts may be activated under the following circumstances:

  • When there is a required near term action on the part of the university community, including but not limited to: 
    • Sheltering from a storm;
    • Cancelling classes;
    • A dangerous situation on campus that could impinge on personal safety either locally or generally, such as a chemical spill, bomb threat, or dangerous person.
  • ODU Alerts will also be used when the Old Dominion Police Department or senior administration determines that there is an ongoing threat to the university community by the presence of certain persons or when the timeliness of the notice may assist in locating an offender.

How will I know the message is from ODU Alerts?

The message sender will appear as follows:

  • For a text message: 893-61
  • For a phone call: 757-683-3001
  • For an e-mail: odualert@odu.edu
  • For an IM:
    • Yahoo: nnnp1a1or nnnp1a2
    • MSN: nnnalertp1a1@3nonline.com or nnnalertp1a2@3nonline.com
    • AIM: nnnalert5 or nnnalert6

Who sends ODU Alerts messages?

Messages will be sent by either University Relations or Old Dominion Police, depending on the nature of the urgent situation.

I'm an ODU Alerts subscriber. Why didn't I receive the alert? And why wasn't the message delivered to all my preferred methods of contact?

Here are some likely reasons:

  • Not all contact paths are always used. In the event of a Safety Timely Warning, the university will use campus email and text messaging to alert the campus.
  • You quickly confirmed receipt of the message. At the end of the alert, you will be prompted to confirm receipt. Once ODU Alerts receives confirmation, by design the system will not attempt to send the message to other points of contact.
  • Spam filters. Spam filters may block e-mail messages from being delivered; to prevent this, add alerts@ODU.edu to your "safe senders" list.
  • Network issues. You may want to check your mobile service provider to ensure there are no issues with their network.  Network congestion also may delay delivery.
  • Known issues with IM delivery: In order to receive an IM from ODU Alerts, you must configure your privacy settings in your IM service tool.  3n (National Notification Network), the company that delivers messages for ODU Alerts, has identified an issue on its system that may prevent delivery to AOL's AIM service. If you listed AIM as your only ODU Alerts contact method, we encourage you to add another method to your account.

What contact information should I use for ODU Alerts?

Since this will be a means to notify you in an emergency situation, we strongly recommend that you provide contact information for YOU, the subscriber.  Consider using methods of contact that you check frequently.

Can I Add Contact Information for My Parents or Spouse?

ODU Alerts is intended to communicate urgent information to students, faculty, and staff on campus during an emergency. For that reason, it is very important that you carefully consider your points of contact. Remember that the system cycles through your points of contact until receipt is confirmed.  If, for example, you list your first point of contact as your cell phone and your second and third as your parents' numbers, you risk not receiving the message in a timely manner or at all if you are unavailable on your cell phone at the time of an emergency. If you still wish to include parents, spouses, or others among your points of contact, we strongly suggest listing yourself as the first several points of contact.

Do I have to confirm receipt of the message? What happens if I don't? And why is this important?

Though receipt confirmation is not required, it is desirable for you to do so.  By confirming receipt, you allow the system to more efficiently and expeditiously reach all members of the university community, which will save valuable time during an emergency situation.

What other means will be used by Old Dominion to communicate emergency information?

Old Dominion will continue to use its well-established broadcast methods that do not require a subscription:

  • The Old Dominion University homepage (www.odu.edu).
  • Broadcast e-mails to all students, faculty, and staff.
  • The after-hours info hotline (683-3000).
  • The university switchboard.
  • Coordinated use of public media outlets.

How will Old Dominion use the ODU Alerts information?

It will be used only for emergency notifications which can be sent via text message (SMS), instant message (IM), phone numbers (mobile, local residence, office, other) or non-Old Dominion e-mail. You do not need to provide your Old Dominion e-mail address; the university will continue to broadcast alert messages to Old Dominion e-mail addresses.

Will I receive duplicate alert messages?

Because we will continue to use the well-established methods listed above, individuals may receive duplicate alert messages.

Will Old Dominion be testing the ODU Alerts system?

The university plans to test the system on a regular basis, at least once per semester. The campus community will be notified in advance of such tests.

How will I know the difference between an ODU Alerts test message, and a real message?

If the message is a test of the system, it will be delivered with the subject line "TEST: ODU Alerts." Any message that does not include the word "test" is an urgent message. Urgent messages will carry subject lines including, but not limited to, "Safety Timely Warning," "Emergency Notification" and "Weather Alert."

Will Old Dominion always use my most preferred method of contact for the ODU Alerts Automated Notification Service?

Depending on the type of emergency, Old Dominion may or may not send messages according to the preference ranking indicated in your account.

When will you deactivate my subscription to ODU Alerts?

Your subscription may be deactivated if you leave the university; if your Old Dominion affiliation changes and you are no longer a registered student; or it has been determined (after due process) that you have intentionally abused or harmed the system.

What are the consequences of deciding NOT to subscribe to ODU Alerts?

You will not receive notification via your preferred contact methods.  You will continue to receive e-mail notification at your Old Dominion e-mail address; you will have access to the Old Dominion weather/emergency telephone hotline; and you will be able to find the emergency information at the Old Dominion homepage. 

How is my contact information updated for ODU Alerts?

Each individual subscriber MUST update their contact information at www.odu.edu/alerts. You are responsible for making all updates or changes to your contact information. Old Dominion does not update your information from other sources.

Does Old Dominion correct my personal contact information when it is wrong?

Old Dominion will not verify the accuracy of  the data you enter.  If the contact data that you enter is not accurate, it will remain inaccurate until it is changed by you. In cases where individuals have entered incorrect telephone numbers and the actual telephone number holder contacts ODU and can verify they are the holder of the number, the number will be deleted and you will be notified via your ODU email address that the incorrect information has been removed.

Does Old Dominion use ODU Alerts contact data to update other university systems?

The contact data you provide will not be used to update any other Old Dominion systems.

Will my contact information be shared with anyone?

The contact data you enter will be provided to a third party for purposes of notifying you in the event of an emergency. No identifying information (such as your name, etc.) will be provided to the third party vendor.
The third party vendor has agreed that they have no right to use your contact information for any purpose other than notifying you via ODU Alerts. They do not have rights to sell, disclose or trade your contact information. When required by law (e.g.. in compliance with a subpoena or court order) your contact information may be disclosed.

Only the individuals employed by Old Dominion who must use this information to administer and manage ODU Alerts will have access to your contact information.

Will I be notified when my subscription to ODU Alerts is deactivated?

You will NOT be notified when your subscription is deactivated because of a change in affiliation. 

How can I be sure you will not use my contact information for a purpose other than an emergency?

If, for any reason, a decision is made to use the ODU Alerts Automated Notification System for anything other than an emergency, you will be notified and given the opportunity to subscribe to the other service before your contact information is used for dissemination of non-emergency information through ODU Alerts.

Is there a charge for subscribing to receive messages via ODU Alerts?

Old Dominion will not charge the subscriber a fee.