General Questions

Q: How will I be contacted?

By default, UCB WarnMe will send (1) emergency alerts, and (2) advisories and community messages to your UC Berkeley Official Email Address ( in the CalNet directory. Click here to view/edit your UCB Official Email Address.

UCB WarnMe will also send emergency alerts to your SMS number if you provide it.

Q: Do I have to sign up to have alerts sent to me?

No, UCB WarnMe is an opt-out system. This means that unless you opt-out of the service you will receive (1) emergency alerts, and (2) advisory and community messages and instructions from it via your UC Berkeley Official Email Address.

You can also receive emergency alerts by SMS. Provide your SMS number to be notified by text message. You can do that on the UCB WarnMe Contact Information page.

If you wish to opt-out of the UCB WarnMe system, and not receive notification messages, you can also do that on the UCB WarnMe Contact Information page.

Q: Who can sign up?

All UC Berkeley students, campus staff and faculty can participate in UCB WarnMe. You need your CalNet ID to enroll.

Q: When am I enrolled?

You will be signed up automatically once you have an UC Berkeley Official Email Address. All students, staff and faculty will be automatically enrolled. Once enrolled, you can add an SMS number or opt-out.

Q: Can my parents or family members enroll?

They cannot enroll in UCB WarnMe. However, they can:

Q: Is there a cost to participate?

Participation in the UCB WarnMe system is free, but you may incur a per message cost, depending on your mobile device plan.

Q: What if my contact information changes after I have signed up?

Click here to view/edit your UCB Official Email Address.

Your updated UCB Official Email Address will be reflected in UCB WarnMe within 24 hours. You can update your SMS information on this WarnMe web site. We periodically refresh the contact data in Everbridge that is used to send out the notifications.

Q: What happens if I register a blocked SMS number?

You will not receive any messages from the UCB WarnMe service if you provide an SMS number that you or your cellular provider have blocked from receiving text messages. This block will prevent you from receiving any message from the UCB WarnMe service on any device, except via the default UCB Official Email Address. Please contact your carrier and have them unblock the shortcode. If you believe you have a blocked SMS number, please do not enter it in the SMS field of the UCB WarnMe registration form.

Q: How secure will my contact information be? Who will be able to use it?

All contact information will be protected and kept private, and it will not be included in campus directories. Your contact information will be used only by UCB WarnMe for emergency needs. Read the full WarnMe privacy policy

Q: Who decided to do this?

The UCB WarnMe alerting and warning system is the result of work undertaken by a taskforce charged by Chancellor Birgeneau to provide a way to reach individual faculty, staff and students in the event of an emergency or crisis on campus. The taskforce was comprised of representatives from the campus police department (UCPD), Information Services and Technology (IST), the Office of Public Affairs, the Registrar's Office, Student Services and the Graduate Division.

Q: Why is UC Berkeley partnering with a commercial company for this service?

To ensure reliable service 24/7, UC Berkeley is working closely with a commercial provider that specializes in rapid public notification and has redundant infrastructure located at multiple sites around the country.

Q: What if I don't have access to a computer or cell phone at my job?

For employees who do not have access to phones and email, it is vital that their managers and supervisors immediately alert them to emergency situations and provide instructions.

Q: When will UCB WarnMe be used?

The campus will activate the system only when absolutely necessary.

UCPD will activate UCB WarnMe in the event of an immediate threat to life or safety.

UCPD and the Office of Public Affairs may also activate UCB WarnMe to send urgent and important messages when information will be helpful, but no individual action is immediately required.

For example, you will be warned and instructed about what to do if there is:

  • Someone with a gun threatening the campus
  • A major chemical spill that requires action
  • An approaching wildfire, or immediately after an earthquake
  • A bomb threat that police believe is credible enough to take precautions
  • Other kinds of significant emergencies on or near campus where warnings will be helpful.
Q: How will UCB WarnMe messages be delivered?

Messages will be sent in written text (text messages, email), depending on the devices you have registered.

The UCB WarnMe system will make its best attempt to deliver messages, but situations and services outside the campus's control mean that we cannot guarantee delivery of all messages to all devices. For example, if the cell phone network is overloaded, it will not be able to send messages to your cell phone.

Q: What will a message be like?

Active UCB WarnMe messages will begin with the words "emergency," "urgent" or "important." Tests of the system will begin with the word "test." The messages will be very brief. In a developing or fast-changing situation, the initial message may be very general, such as "Emergency: Police are responding to reports of a threatening situation. Shelter in place until further notice." As more detail is known, updates will be sent, as will more detailed instructions on what to do.

Q: How much information will the alerts contain?

UCB WarnMe messages for each circumstance will include a situation description and the action you should take immediately. They may also include additional information, depending on the incident.

When the message reads "emergency," it will usually mean that there is an immediate threat to life safety and that you need to take some action, such as stay where you are, keep away from a dangerous area, evacuate the campus, or some other instruction, depending on the incident.

"Urgent" and "important" messages (such as advisories and community messages) will be used when information and instructions are helpful, but individual action may not be immediately required. For example, "Urgent: Shooting reported south of campus. No students or employees involved. Suspect in custody."

Q: Will the campus still use its siren in case of an emergency?

Yes. In addition to the new UCB WarnMe system, the campus will continue to use its siren alerting and warning system. The sirens around campus are tested the first Wednesday of every month at noon. At all other times when you hear the siren you should shelter in place. For information and instructions, go to the campus website, call the 800 number or tune to KALX for information and instructions.

Q: Where can I find more information on what to do in an emergency?

For more information on emergency preparedness, including what to do in numerous kinds of emergencies, go to the campus's Office of Emergency Management website.