NY-Alert FAQ

NY-Alert Frequently Asked Question

Q. What is NY-ALERT? 

NY-ALERT is an emergency alert system established by the New York State Emergency Management Office (SEMO). SUNY campuses can use the NY-ALERT system to send emergency and safety information and protective action messages, to students, employees, and visitors to protect lives and well-being, protect assets and minimize campus disruption.

Q. How do I sign up for SUNY NY-ALERT?

my.geneseo.edu (go to Knightweb  -  Personal Information Menu  -  NY-Alert Contact Information)

Faculty & Staff

Non-Affiliated Individuals

Q. Will I automatically be enrolled in SUNY NY-ALERT once I sign-up?

No. The names and contact information of individuals who sign-up for NY-ALERT throughout the week are submitted on Monday afternoons after 4 p.m. If you sign-up after the list is sent, your name and information will be sent the following Monday. This is the procedure that SUNY established with SEMO.

Q. Will it cost me anything to participate in SUNY NY-ALERT?

No. NY-ALERT is being provided as a FREE service to campuses so there is no enrollment fee. However, specific contract details are still being worked out with cell/text service providers, so airtime charges may apply for some participants.

Q. How do I update my information?

Students can update their information anytime through KnightWeb and updates will be put into affect after 4 p.m. on Monday afternoons. Emergency Alert Contact Information (NY-Alert) is available from the KnightWeb Personal Information Menu. Faculty and staff can reenter their information by visiting the SUNY Employee Services Portal. Review and update of faculty and staff emergency information is not available at this time; reentry is the only update mechanism. 

Q. Is it mandatory for students, faculty and staff to participate?

No. Students are required to complete the KnightWeb NY-Alert survey once each semester but participation in NY-Alert is voluntary and strongly encouraged. Students can choose to opt out through the KnightWeb NY-Alert survey.

Q. Once I sign up will I ever have to sign up again?

Students are not required to sign up more than once but are required to confirm their emergency information once each semester. At this time faculty and staff are not required to sign up again. 

Q. Who is authorized to send emergency/safety information?

The NY-ALERT system can be used only by authorized campus personnel to send emergency messages, including emergency protective actions, warnings and post-incident information related to life safety issues to the campus community. NY-ALERT will not be used by any party for any political, financial or personal gain, advertisement or advocacy. All parties that use NY-ALERT will adhere to the professional ethics standards promulgated by the State of New York.

Q. What type of emergency/safety information will be broadcast?

Alert notifications are allowed pertaining only to events in the categories identified below or other "life threatening" situations. "All Clear" and/or additional follow-up messages pertaining to end of event or additional instructions regarding the event are acceptable. General notifications of campus non-emergency events or activities are not acceptable via the NY-ALERT service.

Classification and Acceptable Usage:

  • Bomb Threat - based on intelligence that indicates the threat is credible.
  • Civil Disturbance - large group disrupting normal campus activities.
  • Fire - large-scale fire to building(s), wildfires, local community or industry that endangers campus.
  • Hazardous Material - dangerous material, chemical, biological, nuclear spreading from a contained area.
  • Major Road Closing/Incident - unanticipated event that would disrupt safe passage to and from campus.
  • Medical Emergency - pandemic or event with mass casualties.
  • Personal Safety - situations that include use of weapons, violence, perpetrator(s) at large, active shooter, hostage situation or missing persons. Any situation, on or off campus, that constitutes an on-going or continuing threat to person or property.
  • Suspicious Package - reasonable belief that a package may contain chemical, biological or nuclear substance that would cause harm to persons or property.
  • Utility Failure - a major disruption or damage to utilities including gas, electrical or water.
  • Weather - class cancellations due to severe weather conditions.

Q. Will NY-ALERT replace other means of communication that the College uses to notify the campus community of emergency information?

No. SUNY NY-ALERT will augment the other means, which include emails, website, television, posters, etc.

Q. Will NY-ALERT be tested?

Yes. The College plans to conduct a full test of all Emergency Communications Systems twice annually. Testing is typically done once each semester.

Q. Where can I find more information about NY-Alert?

New York State Emergency Management Office


Q. How can I unsubscribe from or change my information in NY-Alert? 

Geneseo Students: Annually (in the Fall) students will be given the opportunity to continue, modify or delete their subscription with NY-Alert. At any time students can unsubscribe through the Personal Information Menu within KnightWeb

 Faculty & Staff: Faculty and staff can change or delete their NY-Alert information by visiting the SUNY Employee Services Portal at http://www.suny.edu/sunyalertsec.

 If you have additional questions, please contact any of the following individuals for answers:

Scott Ewanow
Assistant Chief of Police, Emergency Manager
SUNY Geneseo

Lenard Sancilio
Dean of Students
SUNY Geneseo

Sue Chichester
Chief Information Officer & Director, CIT
SUNY Geneseo