UA Emergency Alert System Fixed After Failure

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A week after a tornado ripped through towns east of Fayetteville, the University of Arkansas make sure its emergency alert system works properly.

Lt. Gary Crain said the university fixed its RAZalert system that failed last week. The RAZalert notifies students when there's a police or weather emergency and the campus tested the system Tuesday.

Chase Campbell, mechanical engineer student, said he received the test message.

"Makes sense to make sure everything is fine, so when something really does happen that it does work," Campbell said.

Crain said an employee accidentally sent the alert saying the campus, not the county, was under a tornado warning. Students were also told to stay in the lower floors of UA buildings.

"I got a call that said there's been a tornado warning just stay, be safe and take cover," said Freshman Maddie Everhart.

In a statement, Crain said, "they are making sure that mistake doesn't happen again and also just working out a few technical bugs, which they tested successfully today."

Katie Peters, nursing student, said, "Well today the test was sent out by text, phone call and an email, so it covered everything."

Peters said she’s thankful there's an emergency system available.

"It's a good way to have everyone in a safe spot, so I like it," Peters said.

The RAZalert is optional. Faculty and staff can add up to three phone numbers and students up to six phone numbers.

"I don't think it would need to be required," said Trevor McKell, computer science engineer student. "It just something that's helpful to tell people what they need to do."

Campbell said he didn't noticed there was a problem and said at least the system alerted them of a possible tornado.

"It's better to be safe than sorry, especially when it comes to things like a tornado,” Campbell said.

University officials said the main problem was a lack of training and they believe that problem has been fixed.