Eagle Alert: Frequently Asked Questions

What is Eagle Alert?

Eagle Alert is a mass notification system comprising e-mail, voice and text messaging that is designed to send emergency messages to the university’s students, faculty and staff in a matter of minutes. It will be used in conjunction with existing university avenues of emergency communication, including outdoor warning sirens, public address systems, news alerts to media outlets and SouthernMiss.info.

Who can sign up to receive Eagle Alerts?

All Southern Miss students, faculty and staff who are currently in the university’s system with a valid campus ID are enrolled in the Eagle Alert system.

Why do I receive Eagle Alert voice and text messages?

This system will provide instantaneous information regarding situations that pose an imminent danger and that require immediate action by students, faculty and staff. Because individuals are in multiple locations, both on and off campus, at any one time, the Eagle Alert system provides the most efficient and quickest way to notify the most number of people at one time.

How does Eagle Alert work?

The Eagle Alert system is a Web-based product where information is maintained on a private and encrypted Web site. Participants do not need any special hardware or software to sign up or to receive messages. It is a service that can disseminate emergency messages through:

  • E-mail.
  • SMS text messages
  • Voice messages

Will I receive emergency messages if I don’t sign up with Eagle Alert?

If you are a student, faculty or staff member you will receive emergency messages via your official university e-mail address and university phone, if applicable. While it is strongly recommended that you provide at least one phone number (cell phone is recommended) for Eagle Alert, students, faculty and staff can opt-out of the personal phone and text message portion of the service. To do so, go to www.usm.edu/safety/eagle-alert and log in using CampusID (same as SOAR login) credentials. Although you may opt-out of those portions of the service, participation by campus email and phone, if applicable, is required.

What kind of alerts will be sent?

The Eagle Alert system will be used to only to send information about emergencies that require immediate action. Examples of alerts might include severe weather, building evacuations, an active shooter or hazardous chemical spill.

The system may be used to provide additional information or an all-clear announcement. Eagle Alert also will be tested periodically. Less urgent messages will be sent using the campus e-mail system.

Can I opt out of the system, and can I update my contact information?

You can log into Eagle Alert at any time to update your contact information. Whenever your phone number or alternate e-mail address changes, it is important that you update this information with Eagle Alert to ensure you continue to receive alerts through the system. While it is strongly recommended that you provide at least one phone number (cell phone is recommended) for Eagle Alert, students, faculty and staff can opt-out of the personal phone and text message portion of the service. To do so, go to www.usm.edu/safety/eagle-alert and log in using CampusID (same as SOAR login) credentials. Although you may opt-out of those portions of the service, participation by campus email and phone, if applicable, is required.

Updating your information in the Eagle Alert system will not affect your primary University record in SOAR. If you wish to update your contact information for both SOAR and Eagle Alert, please login to SOAR and the system will automatically update your Eagle Alert record as well within 24 hours.

Are there any costs involved if I sign up for the system?

Depending on your cellular provider and plan, small charges may apply to text messages. You should check with your mobile phone provider to determine any applicable costs. 

How soon will I be able to receive emergency messages after I update my information?

You will be able to receive emergency messages within 24 hours of sign-up. The system is updated daily.

What can I do if Eagle Alerts are going to my "junk" email folders?

If you notice Eagle Alerts going to your junk email folder, please take the following steps that may assist. USM also currently sends Eagle Alerts through USM Mailout to ensure delivery to all faculty, staff and students.

Method 1: Mark spam mail in the junk folder as ‘Not Junk/Spam’

The fastest way to prevent Outlook from sending legit emails to the junk folder is to tell it that the specified email sender is not a spammer. It will then add the email sender address to the trusted sender list. To do this:

  1. Get into the Junk E-mail folder.
  2. Select the email which you want to mark as Not Junk.
  3. Then go to the Home tab, click Junk and select Not Junk from the dropdown menu
  4. Alternatively, after selecting, right click on the emails, go to junk and then click “Not Junk
  5. After clicking Not Junk, a Mark as Not Junk dialog box will pop up, please check the Always trust e-mail from “xxx@xxx.com” box and then click OK.

Method 2: Create or add a sender email to the trusted sender list

You can add email sender’s address to the Safe Senders list to prevent email from going to junk folder.

  1. Select an email you want to add the sender to the Safe Senders list from the Junk folder.
  2. Right click it, and then select Junk > Never Block Sender in the right-clicking menu
  3. Then a prompt box will pop up to remind you that the sender has been added to the Safe Senders list. Click OK and this email address will not be filtered to the Junk folder from now on.

You can always set a trusted/safe sender manually by going to the Junk Email options from the Junk option in the home tab.

Method 3: Turn off automatic filter

Turning off automatic filter will ensure that all your emails go in through the inbox before you can delete them or send them to the junk folder.

  1. Click the Junk > Junk E-mail Options in the Delete group on the Home tab.
  2. In the Junk E-mail Options dialog box, go to the options tab.
  3. Check the No Automatic Filtering. Mail from blocked senders is still moved to the Junk E-mail folder option.
  4. Click OK

Now all email messages will be received regularly. However, those emails suspected to be spams by the server are still moved to the Junk E-mail folder automatically, but not the Inbox folder. Emails from blocked email accounts/sender are also sent to the junk folder. To clear the blocked senders list, follow the steps below.

  1. After step 2 above, click the ‘Blocked Senders’ tab
  2. Select all email addresses in the email list box (or those you want to remove from the list), and click the Remove button.
  3. Click OK

Will my contact information remain secure, and will it be used for any other purposes?

The information collected for Eagle Alert is securely maintained and will not be shared. It is only used for notification of emergencies requiring immediate action. You will not receive advertising or spam on your personal phone.

Who manages Eagle Alert?

Eagle Alert is managed jointly through the Offices of the Vice President for Student Affairs, University Police, iTech, and University Communications.