If it becomes necessary to cancel classes or close the University due to severe weather
or other emergency, announcements will be made as early as possible. The Big Rapids
campus will always be open to students residing on campus no matter how severe the
weather. The University will make every effort to provide vital services during severe
How You Will be Notified
The Ferris State University homepage, Ferris.edu, serves as the primary source of information updates on winter weather class cancellations/closures
or other emergencies. This is the best place to check first for the status of whether
Ferris is open or closed due to weather conditions.
Parents, family, or friends of Ferris students can receive Ferris State University
emergency messaging. Completing the following action will register a cell phone to
receive FSU text alerts. All FSU location messages will be received when registering
a cell number.
Text the word FerrisAlerts to the number 67283 on the cell phone you wish to register with the system.
The system will respond back with a confirmation message.
Opt out of ALL messages by texting STOP to the number 67283. (this stops all text messages from being sent to the cell number).
Weather/emergency alerts are posted on the University's official Facebook and Twitter profiles.
To find out about the status of classes during winter weather or for other emergency
notices, call the University's information hotline at (231) 591-5602. The University also uses a phone fan out system to notify Emergency Response Team
members as well as phone trees within colleges/departments/units.
Ferris will notify mass media outlets. Media will then include our message on their
websites and broadcasts.
Other methods of communication may include the following: University-wide Notices
(faculty and staff email system), MyFSU student portal announcement channels, outdoor
electronic signs, outdoor broadcast system, instant messaging to classroom computers,
an emergency alert system which allows a message to be broadcast on Ferris Cable Channel
7, and direct contact through the posting of notices and safety information throughout
the residence halls and academic buildings or other locations on campus (provided
circumstances allow this).
Information on RAVE and Alertus
The Rave Mobile Alert and Alertus Unified Facility Notification translate to FSU Emergency
Text Alerts and Computer Desktop Notification for Faculty, Staff and Students.
In an emergency situation, messages need to be delivered quickly and efficiently to
warn the University community about emergency or hazardous situations, and provide
students, faculty, and staff with information necessary for them to make the best
possible safety choices for themselves. These tools greatly improve the notification
by streamlining the process and allowing emergency responders to concentrate on the
emergency, not the notification. This system allows for emergency messages to be distributed
by all, or any combination of the following:
Desktop computers (Alertus)
Electronic signage on campus
Outdoor broadcast system (triggered automatically by County weather alerts or as authorized
individually by FSU DPS)
In an emergency, one of the objectives of the FSU DPS is to send out emergency information
as soon as confirmation of the emergency is established. This process requires a streamlined
approval matrix where the reception, confirmation, and dissemination of the message
is handled within a single authority.
At Ferris, this process was streamlined to authorize the Ferris Police Department
to disseminate emergency messaging information. Two new policies were created to train
all police officers and student dispatchers to disseminate emergency information as
quickly as possible. Here is how this protocol works:
The department receives emergency information at our 24 hour dispatch or from the Meceola
Consolidated Dispatch Center (911).
The on-duty dispatcher immediately notifies the on-duty police supervisor or the senior
on-duty police officer of the emergency.
The dispatcher and/or the police supervisor notifies the Director, or in his/her absence
the Assistant Director, who then verifies the emergency, and the need for an emergency
The Director, Assistant Director, or in their absence the on-duty supervisor or senior
police officer, crafts the message and authorizes the on-duty dispatcher to send out
the RAVE alert.
The RAVE alert text messages are restricted to 150 characters, so only a short message
of the danger/emergency is provided, typically followed by a recommended action.
As soon as possible, coordinating with the University Advancement and Marketing department,
a more detailed message regarding the emergency will be posted on the ferris.edu website.
This process typically continues for the duration of the emergency.
When the emergency no longer exists and when warranted, an all-clear message is sent.
By reducing the layers of approval required for emergency messaging, a system at Ferris
was created which assures the fastest and most efficient emergency messaging possible.
The combined efforts of Campus Police, Telecommunications, Information Technology
and the Safety, Health, Environmental & Risk Management departments made possible
the implementation of the University Wide Emergency Text Alert and Computer Desktop
Notification systems. These systems are integrated and make our capability of a “one
button” emergency messaging platform a reality.
Dispatchers can quickly deploy a message in the event of an emergency or campus closure.
Critical information from the National Weather Service about hazardous weather or
civil emergency, such as tornadoes and severe thunderstorms, are automatically relayed
by text message to campus community members who have signed up for Emergency Text
Alerts. A simple sign-up process through MyFSU is all it takes to register to receive