Housing Alerts

The Division of University Housing at UW-Madison is committed to providing timely information for situations that represent a threat to our residents or an unplanned change in service. With our UW-Hsg Urgent Alert service, we are able to provide this information quickly through text messages and email messages.

Frequently Asked Questions

What type of information will I receive through text message alerts?

Situations where UW-Hsg Urgent Alert email and text messages could be issued include severe weather, University Housing closures, unplanned service outages, and imminent dangers affecting our residents. Text alerts are limited to 140 characters and often can provide only basic information, with more details to be provided by follow-up text messages, email messages or web pages.

How often will I receive text message alerts?

Fortunately, University Housing does not use the UW-Hsg Urgent Alert system very often. In some academic terms, the only messages sent to residents might be a system test message.

How is this different from campus WiscAlerts?

This service uses the same software as the campus WiscAlert system, but it is not a replacement for WiscAlerts. UW-Hsg Urgent Alerts will be specific to University Housing, and they will not repeat WiscAlert notifications. In some cases, UW-Hsg Urgent Alerts may supplement WiscAlert notices about campus incidents by providing Housing-specific details for our residents and staff.

How will I identify incoming messages from UW-Hsg Urgent Alert?

University Housing text messages will come from the same short code numbers as WiscAlerts, and will always start with “UW-Hsg Urgent Alert.” Email messages will be from “University Housing <UW-Hsg-Alert@housing.wisc.edu>”.

Who can register/use the service?

All active UW-Madison University Housing residents and staff are automatically registered for the UW-Hsg Urgent Alert service.

Can I register if I am not a University Housing resident or employee?

No. Only current UW-Madison University Housing residents, University Housing employees, and members of summer groups staying on-campus will be registered. The UW-Hsg Urgent Alert service is only one of several communication and information sources utilized at UW-Madison. There are several other campus sources for emergency information, including the campus homepage and the emergency preparedness site.

Is there a cost for this service?

The service is free, but you will be responsible for any normal short messaging service (SMS) charges from your cellular provider.

What if I don’t want to receive UW-Hsg Urgent Alert text messages from University Housing?

Opting out of the text alert portion of the system is strongly discouraged, as the information provided by UW-Hsg Urgent Alerts can keep you safe during an emergency or threatening situation, or at the very least keep you aware of a service outage or an early closure of a dining unit.

  • Residents can choose to opt out by sending an email from your wisc.edu account to the appropriate address below. Please make it clear in your message that you are asking to opt out. All opt-out requests will be honored within 7 business days.
  • Housing staff can choose to opt-out by not providing mobile phone numbers during the registration period, or by contacting HR.
  • Residents or staff who leave University Housing will automatically be removed from text alerts when the list is updated after they leave.

Does it matter who my mobile phone provider/carrier is?

No. The emergency text alert system supports all U.S. mobile carriers. If you do change your mobile phone provider, you do not have to change anything.

Will my personal information be shared with third parties?

No. Your e-mail address and mobile phone number will only be provided to our UW-Hsg Urgent Alert vendor, RAVE Wireless, who will protect the data as stated under FERPA guidelines. For more information on FERPA, please visit the Registrar website.

Who do I contact for help?

If you have questions about your registration or opt in/opt out status, contact the appropriate address below:

What do I do if my mobile number changes?

If you are a University Housing resident and your phone number changes, you should go to My UW and update the contact information you have provided to campus. This will also update your records in our UW-Hsg Urgent Alert system within a few days. If you are a Housing staff member, please provide any changes in your contact information to HR.

What is the difference between an “Emergency” and an “Alert”?

Messages labeled as a “UW-Hsg Emergency” are reserved for situations where residents may be exposed to a serious and immediate danger that requires taking action such as seeking shelter. Examples include a shooter or violent crime on campus, bomb, terrorist act, chemical hazard, gas leak, fire, tornado, etc.

Messages labeled as a “UW-Hsg Urgent Alert” are used for situations that are urgent but do not pose an immediate danger to residents. Examples include a network outage, unplanned building closure, loss of heat or power, etc.