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Understanding Safety and Emergency Notifications

The Ohio State University uses a variety of methods to communicate with the campus community. These include but are not limited to the Buckeye Alert System, Public Safety Notices and Neighborhood Safety Notices. These methods are supported by the Department of Public Safety website, social media, traditional media and other communication channels.

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Buckeye Alert is issued by Ohio State Emergency Management in situations where students, faculty and staff are in immediate danger.

The Buckeye Alert system is a multi-modal, emergency notification system consisting of nearly two dozen communication methods to alert the campus community. Buckeye Alerts, often sent via text message, are issued when it is determined that the campus community needs to take immediate action to remain safe. As a result, if a Buckeye Alert text message is issued, there is a chance it may contain general information such as “Buckeye Alert! Emergency on Columbus campus: More info soon. Be observant/take action as needed.” In this instance, a second Buckeye Alert is likely to follow containing additional details like the incident location or the specific type of emergency. Based on a variety of factors, including when information becomes known, Ohio State Public Safety officials will determine which method, or combination of methods, may be utilized to communicate during an emergency.

Parent and Family Relations will rely on Buckeye Alert to notify parents and families in cases of an emergency.  Email communications to families may not be issued or may not be issued until the emergency situation has been addressed.  Therefore, we encourage parents and family members to be signed up for Buckeye Alert.  This can be done by your student through a simple sign-up process.  Students should also make sure they are properly signed up for Buckeye Alert messages.  Information regarding student and family sign-ups can be found on-line by clicking here.  

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Public Safety Notices are issued by the University Police Division when there is a continuing threat to the campus community.

The second type of notice is called a Public Safety Notice.  Public Safety Notices are issued by the Police Division and exist to increase awareness about a criminal incident to promote safety and aid in the prevention of similar crimes. These are sent via email when a serious crime occurs that demonstrates an ongoing threat to the campus community. Ohio State Police reviews the known details of each reported criminal incident on a case-by-case basis with the safety of the campus community in mind.  For more information and to subscribe to Public Safety Notices, click here

In addition to Public Safety Notices and Buckeye Alerts, the university also may issue Neighborhood Safety Notice emails for serious or violent crimes or crime patterns that occur on non-Clery reportable property when they present a serious or continuing threat to students and employees. Determinations about issuance of these "off-campus" Neighborhood Safety Notices will be made on a case-by-case basis, and issuance is within the discretion of the Chief of Police or designee.  For more detailed information on the criteria for issuing a Neighborhood Safety Notice and to see recent notices, click here

We encourage everyone to “follow” and/or “like” Ohio State University Police and Ohio State Emergency Management on Twitter and Facebook. While we do not use social media as a primary mode of emergency notification, we do utilize these sites to help spread our safety messaging.

Ohio State University Police – Twitter - @OSUPOLICE – http://twitter.com/OSUPOLICE

Ohio State University Police – Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/OSUPD

Ohio State Emergency Management – Twitter - @OSU_EMFP – http://twitter.com/OSU_EMFP

Ohio State Emergency Management – Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/OSUEmergency

Our utmost priority is the safety of our campus community.  Anything you can do to help spread information on safety to your students is helpful to our mission.  Stay safe Buckeyes!