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Vol. LXI, No. 5
March 6, 2009
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‘AlertNIH’ Offers Quick Way To Get Emergency Info

NIH is instituting a new initiative, AlertNIH, to allow employees and contractors to receive emergency information on personal (if desired) as well as NIH-issued communications devices on a 24/7 basis. AlertNIH allows you to receive information anywhere, anytime and on almost any device including cell phones, work phones, home phones, work or personal email accounts and pagers. While the service has been in use for more than a year by NIH emergency response and recovery personnel, it is now being rolled out to provide all NIH’ers access to the notification system.

AlertNIH allows NIH, and the institutes and centers, to broadcast messages to all employees simultaneously, or to selected individuals or groups, in a faster, more efficient manner than traditional notification schemes. Messages can be tailored to groups or individuals based on their function and the circumstances requiring their expertise.

There are many benefits to using AlertNIH. Messages arrive within seconds of transmission and, since it is web-based, AlertNIH is unaffected by potential infrastructure failures on campus. Employees will be notified of emergency situations occurring on the Bethesda campus, leased buildings and other NIH facilities. Receiving information on personal communications devices may be especially helpful if an incident occurs during non-duty hours and employees may need to be notified to report the following day to an alternate worksite or delay arrival until an incident is resolved. A recent example was the water-main rupture in Montgomery County that sent non-emergency employees home early last Dec. 23. Had the decision been made after normal working hours to close NIH locations, employees may not have received word through traditional notification methods.

AlertNIH will automatically be provided on government-supplied communications devices (work phones, NIH email and government-issued cell phones and Blackberries) with no action required by the employee. However, Privacy Act requirements generally prohibit NIH from collecting personal contact information. In order for employees and contractors to receive AlertNIH information on personal devices (home phones, cell phones, home email), they will need to update their profile on the NIH Enterprise Directory (NED).

AlertNIH allows notifications to be received on up to five voice devices and five text devices, including NIH-supplied equipment. To access your NED profile, visit https://ned.nih.gov/ned/ and follow instructions provided for updating profile information.

If you have questions about this service, call (301) 496-1985. NIHRecord Icon

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