Frequently Asked Questions

What is CUNY Alert?

CUNY Alert is an emergency notification system that enables the University's campuses to advise students, faculty and staff of an emergency (a severe hurricane or snowstorm, for example), and provide timely information to protect lives and minimize campus disruption. CUNY has worked with the State Emergency Management Office to utilize the state's all-hazards alert and notification system, NY-Alert, for use by the CUNY campuses.

Depending upon the severity of the incident, CUNY Alert messages can range from specific instructions to general warnings. These notifications will be sent to members of your campus community who have signed up for CUNY Alert. Messages can be received via cell phone (text and/or voice), land line telephone and e-mail. New students and guests must "opt in" to receive alerts. Everyone can choose your preferred format or formats to receive the messages. Stay alert! Sign up at your campus today for CUNY Alert!

How to Sign Up

All employees (faculty and staff) are automatically enrolled and manage their accounts in CUNYfirst. Those without CUNYfirst Accounts (Research Foundation employees, friend/neighbors of colleges) sign up for CUNY Alert at for step-by-step instructions. You'll be asked to provide at least one email address. You may also include a cell phone number and a provider to receive text message alerts and a phone number, either cell or land line, to receive voice alerts. You may list one phone number for each of these options, but you should be aware that the alert system will attempt to contact every number you list. Therefore, we advise that you list your preferred number for text messaging and/or your preferred number for voice messages.

Are all CUNY campuses participating in CUNY Alert?

Yes. All students, faculty and staff are urged to sign up for CUNY Alert at your campus. CUNY faculty and staff are automatically enrolled with their current office number and college/CUNY email address.


CUNY Alert provides a secure, web-based emergency alert system for the entire CUNY campus system. CUNY Alert is managed by each user, so you select the way you want to be notified. CUNY Alert is available to you even if you are presently registered with another emergency notification system.

What types of "Emergency Messages" may I receive?

Primarily, you may receive messages for emergency events. Here are a few examples:

  • Weather -severe weather conditions to include flooding, snow/ice/cold, thunderstorm, wind, tornado or hurricane.
  • Fire - fire to building(s), wildfires, local community or industry that endangers a campus.
  • Bomb Threat/Suspicious Package - based on intelligence that indicates the threat is credible.
  • Civil Disturbance - large group disrupting normal campus activities.
  • Hazardous Material - dangerous or hazardous material incident that may pose a risk to the college community
  • Major Road Closing/Off Campus Incident - unanticipated external event that would disrupt safe passage to and from a campus.
  • Medical Emergency - epidemic 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 ongoing or continuing threat to person or property.
  • Utility Failure - a major disruption or damage to utilities including gas, electricity or water.

Depending upon the severity of the incident, CUNY Alert messages can range from specific instructions to general warnings. These notifications will be sent to members of your campus community registered in CUNY Alert. Messages can be received via preferred phone (text and/or voice), telephone and e-mail. CUNY Alert system is operational and available for all campuses.

How can I modify my CUNYAlert profile?

Log in to CUNYfirst and click on the CUNY Alert Preferences link within Self Service. You can modify the locations (colleges and offices) you want, and up to five phone and email addresses. For guest users, go to and click on the CUNY Alert logo. Click on Phone Numbers tab if you want to change the telephone numbers information in your profile for phone calls and text messaging. Click on the email tab if you want to change your email address(es).

How can I unsubscribe from CUNY Alert?

Only students and guest users can unsubscribe.

CUNY Alert Campus Testing:
Why am I not receiving any alert?

Please be sure to check your profile on the CUNY Alert system first, before pursuing any other inquiry path. Your profile should be up-to-date and reflect all your choices regarding communication channels.

Why am I receiving multiple emails with the same content?

Check your CUNY Alert profile in CUNYfirst to review your Personal Information. If you signed up to be notified by more than one CUNY campus, you may receive multiple copies of alerts across all channels that you subscribed for – e.g. phone calls, email and text.

Why am I not receiving text messages?

Check on the third CUNY Alert profile page to determine whether you selected your correct carrier (e.g. Verizon, AT&T, etc) for text messaging. Then check whether your telephone number provided for texting is correct and up-to-date. Do you currently receive other text messages on this phone line?