Emergency Notifications

The Department of Public Safety manages the University's Emergency Notification System and sends real-time notifications during emergency events.  

Text message alerts will only be used in rare cases where ongoing events pose an immediate threat or have a significant impact. Possible scenarios include severe weather conditions, emergency campus closures, crimes in progress that may endanger the community, and major transit interruptions.

Below is information about the service for:

Text Message Notification: Columbia Students

Columbia students can register for or opt-out of text message notifications through Vergil My Personal Information 

Students can add up to three (3) mobile numbers in this section. As a default provision, all mobile numbers are opted-in to receive Emergency Notifications. Students may toggle this setting off to opt-out of receiving Emergency Notifications. 

Use the above LINK to access your personal information page. Students can add, update or delete the phone numbers to register or opt out. 

Text Message Notification: Columbia Faculty/Staff

Columbia faculty and staff with access to People at Columbia (PAC) can register for or opt out of text message notifications by logging into mycolumbia.edu using your UNI and password. Once logged in, click on Faculty and Staff towards the top left of the page. On the next page scroll down & you can either click on PAC or Campus Text Alerts. Next, you will click on “Personal Details” & then “Contact Details

Within the “Contact Details" section click on the + symbol & select Campus Alert 1 from the *Type drop down & add your cell phone number and those of family or friends you wish to register (up to 3 total) in the "Campus Alert 1", "Campus Alert 2" and "Campus Alert 3" fields. To opt out, remove the number(s) and save. 

Keep in mind that only numbers listed under the three "Campus Alert" fields will receive emergency text messages; "Mobile" and "CU Mobile" will not.

Text Message Notification: Community/General Public

  • Neighbors/members of the general public 
  • Faculty/staff/students of neighboring institutions (Teachers College, Jewish Theological Seminary, Union Theological Seminary and more) 
  • Additional family members of Columbia students and staff not added through their affiliate’s account 

Non-affiliates interested in receiving emergency alerts from Columbia can sign up by clicking on the “Register” button on the upper right corner of the registration page and entering their name, email, and phone number. To complete the account setup, users will receive a confirmation code on their phone and will need to verify their account via email. 

This free service is convenient and confidential. Telephone numbers that have been enrolled in the system will not be retrieved or used by Columbia University for anything other than text messaging during serious emergencies. 

Community/general public registrants can opt-out of the Emergency Text Alert System at any time by texting STOP to 226787 or by logging into the system, where they will be able to manage their information.