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AlertVU is Vanderbilt’s mass emergency notification system—designed to alert Vanderbilt students, faculty, and staff members in an emergency posing an imminent, ongoing threat or danger to the Vanderbilt community.  

Additional communication methods that will be used during an emergency include the university homepage, the AlertVU emergency website,, campus security email notices, electronic message boards, sirens, other campus websites and social media. AlertVU is also distributed to Vanderbilt University Medical Center employees in addition to VUMC-specific alerts. See question #10 for more information regarding on-going updates.

AlertVU rapidly sends messages to the delivery points in its database. Cell phone numbers provided by students to the university are automatically enrolled in the AlertVU database. Additionally, all Vanderbilt students, faculty and staff are automatically enrolled in the system using their Vanderbilt email address and their office phone, if they have one. Faculty and staff can register other contact points, such as their cell/home phone, text messaging, or personal email account to receive AlertVU messages when they are away from their Vanderbilt email account. 

As part of the expanded AlertVU effort, your local desktop management team may have installed an application called Alertus on your office PC to deliver AlertVU desktop alerts. The system will display a full-screen notification whenever AlertVU is activated. This application operates behind the scenes, and has no impact on the performance of your machine. When AlertVU is activated, you will be asked to acknowledge the notification and then you may resume normal activity. If you do not have Alertus installed or are unsure, contact your VUIT local support provider.

Students – all student cell phone numbers and Vanderbilt email addresses are automatically enrolled into the AlertVU system.  Students can edit their emergency contact information via the YES system.  Student step by step directions are available on the AlertVU website.

Faculty and Staff – all faculty and staff Vanderbilt email address are automatically enrolled into the AlertVU system.  Faculty and staff can edit and add their contact information via the Oracle (VU) or C2HR (VUMC) system.  Faculty and staff step by step instructions are available on the AlertVU website. 

Yes, additional contact numbers and email address can be added to every user account.  Access you designated system, YES (VU Students), Oracle (VU Faculty and Staff), or C2HR (VUMC), and follow the directions to add additional contact information. 

You may elect to remove any phone or SMS text number to no longer receive AlertVU messages.  However, all student, faculty, and staff members’ Vanderbilt email address are automatically enrolled in the AlertVU system and cannot be removed. 

You should access your user account first to ensure your contact numbers are correct and up to date.  Furthermore, we encourage users to register as many devices as possible (phone, email, SMS text) to ensure you receive emergency communication in the event of an emergency.  Lastly, each and every user is limited to their cell carrier network and their operational capabilities. 

The university issues two notifications related to incidents on campus – AlertVU, which is issued when there is an immediate threat to campus such as a tornado on a path toward campus or an active shooter situation, and Security Notices, which are issued regarding incidents that do not present an immediate threat but about which we want to notify our community members so they can make informed safety decisions. 

Additional communication methods that will be used during an emergency are the university homepage,, and other campus websites and social media outlets, such as Facebook and Twitter, will also continue to be used as part of the university’s overall emergency communications strategy.