Columbia University’s Emergency Text Alert System Expanded for Non-Affiliate and Community Access

January 14, 2021

Columbia’s Emergency Notification System has been expanded to allow anyone, including non-affiliates and community members, to sign up for emergency communications from the University. The alerts are distributed via text message and email and are sent in cases where ongoing events pose an immediate threat or have a significant impact. 

“We heard from many of the University’s neighboring institutions and non-affiliate members of the community that receiving our emergency alerts would be valuable for them. This expansion of the system allows anyone interested to know about emergency situations impacting our campuses in Morningside Heights, Manhattanville and Washington Heights,” said James F. McShane, Vice President for Public Safety. 

Columbia affiliates and non-Columbia affiliates interested in subscribing to the free service can sign up by following the process described on this page. Information provided during registration will not be used for any other purpose than providing emergency alerts. Examples of past alerts include inclement weather closures, emergency incidents on or around campus, major transit interruptions, and similar impactful situations. 

Standard or other messaging charges may apply depending on your wireless carrier plan and subscription details. Users can opt out of the Emergency Text Alert System at any time by texting STOP to 226787 or by logging into the system, where they will be able to manage their preferences.  

The Emergency Notification System is one of several mechanisms that Columbia University uses to communicate urgent information to keep the community safe. During a crisis or campus emergency, detailed messages and updates are also posted on the Columbia Preparedness website as well as the University and Medical Center homepages. 

For more information about the Emergency Notification System, please visit